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ENCOURAGED by the welcome given in 1915 to The Book of 
France, its Editor has compiled, with a similar object and on 
somewhat similar lines, a book about Russia. 

All the profits, including what would have been publishers 
profits, from the sale of this book will be handed over to Prince 
G. E. Lvov, President of the All Russian Union of Zemstvos, 
or Russian County Councils, for distribution among sufferers 
from the War. 

Beyond all praise is the work the Zemstvos are doing in this 
war. Created in 1864, they first organised themselves into a 
Union after the Russo-Japanese War, and again on the outbreak 
of the present hostilities. In an interesting article contributed to 
this book, Mr. A. Kuprin * describes how the activities of the 
Zemstvos, in peace time exclusively local, have now expanded 
until they include care of the wounded, their transport, the 
organisation of hospitals, the provision of medical aid and surgical 
equipment, as well as the manufacture of clothing and munitions. 
That excellent use will be made of any sum confided to this 
admirable organisation there is no doubt. 

The Editor ventures to hope that, engaging freely in this 
common labour of love and mercy, Russian and British con 
tributors may perchance find their sympathies with one another 
deepened, and that, by revealing to readers perhaps hitherto 
unacquainted with Russia, if only the merest glimpse into her 

1 See pp. 221-228. 



noble, but sometimes unfathomable soul, these pages may serve 
to knit more closely those bonds of mutual interest and friendship 
which unite us to our heroic Ally. 

It will be found that the field covered by the book is fairly 
wide. In art, it extends from the early icon, the tenth-century 
folk-song, and the homely creations of peasant industry to the 
music of Stravinsky, the paintings of Goncharova, and the elabor 
ate representations of the Russian ballet. It describes a circle, 
so to speak, in the tendency to revive the archaic exhibited by 
Stelletsky s pictures. In the domain of literature, poems, tales, 
and critical essays portray the influences which direct, the ideals 
which inspire, and the ardent sentiments which impassion con 
temporary Russian thought. Articles which range from Moscow 
to the Caucasus, from the Caucasus to far north-east Siberia, 
suggest the vastness of the Holy Russian Empire. Others on 
" The Task of Russia," " The Neutralisation of the Dardanelles," 
" Russia without Vodka " discuss some of the stupendous problems 
confronting the Russian Government. British writers express 
British opinions of Russia, Russian writers Russian opinions of 
Britain. Inevitably a large section of the book, in prose and in 
verse, is devoted to war in general, and to the present War in 

Having regard to our great and unfortunate ignorance of 
the Russian language, it has been deemed advisable not to print 
Russian originals. But, as translations of verse can never, even 
in its happiest efforts, be anything but approximation, an ex 
ception has been made for the originals of the poems. They 
appear as Appendices. And the Editor here wishes to thank 
Mr. Shklovsky (Dioneo) for his kindness in revising this part 
of the book. 

All contributions, illustrations, and letterpress alike have 
been arranged strictly and solely according to their topics. 

At a time when a heated controversy is raging round the trans 
literation of Russian, the rendering into English of Russian 


names presents some difficulty. In this book, whenever possible, 
the spelling of the London Library Catalogue has been followed. 
But how impracticable is any complete consistency will be seen 
from a contributor s letter, which, with his permission, is quoted 
here : 


17. vii. 16. 

I confess that this question of transliteration of Russian 
names, though not difficult in itself, is complicated by tradition. 
At bottom such names as Metchnikov and Vinogradov should be 
spelled with a v at the end ; but the transcription with off was intro 
duced in the eighteenth century I suppose under French influence ; 
and in consequence a number of Russian names have, as it were, 
acquired rights of citizenship in this guise in various foreign languages. 
In my own case, I began to spell my name as Vinogradoff, with ojj^ 
ever since I wrote my French exercises as a boy of six ; and, as I have 
published a good many books at a later age under this form of the 
name, I should not like it to be changed. 

Yours truly, 


At a time like the present, in the midst of a world war, when 
Russia and Great Britain are at grips with a mighty foe, when 
communication between the two countries, for anything but 
military purposes, is extremely difficult, the collection of such 
unique material as this volume contains has not been easy. It 
would have been impossible had not two distinguished and 
devoted friends of Russia Mme. Emilie Zetlin in Paris, Mr. 
Hagberg Wright in London generously employed their time 
and influence to obtain contributions. The association with the 
book of names so notable in Russia secured the co-operation of 
its numerous eminent contributors, who have shown themselves 
eager freely to unite with their British confreres in giving of 
their best to the cause this volume seeks to aid. 

For his untiring energy in collecting these contributions in 


Russia and in forwarding them to England the book is indebted 
to Mr. Daniel Gorodetsky. 

To the band of Russia s friends in England who have gener 
ously given much time to the arduous task of translating Russian 
into English, the Editor can never be sufficiently grateful. She 
desires also to take this opportunity of thanking publishers, writers, 
illustrators, indeed all who have in various ways helped to make 
this book possible. 


LONDON, 1916. 





RUSSIA. Sonnet by MAURICE BARING .... 3 


Moscow. By C. HAGBERG WRIGHT, LL.D. .... 8 

by Z. BOYAJIAN ...... 1 8 





LISTER KAYE ...... 24 





C. Music. 


THE BEAR WITH THE WOODEN LEG. Fragment of Song by 

STRAVINSKY ....... 43 






NEWMARCH . ... 56 








LISTER KAYE ...... 7^ 







Translated by ADELINE LISTER KAYE . . . .96 


Translated by AUGUSTA CAMPBELL DAVIDSON, M.A. . .102 


KITEJ. Poem by Z. BUKHAROVA. Translated by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR 113 

DUROCHKA. A Fairy Tale. Translated by Z. SHKLOVSKY and I. PEVNY 116 







SHKLOVSKY (DIONEO) . . . . . .132 




HORSES. Stanzas by BALMONT. Translated by Z. BOYAJIAN . .153 



No MAN S LAND. A Story by Z. GIPPIUS. Translated by SUSETTE M. 

TAYLOR ........ 159 


CAMPBELL DAVIDSON, M.A. . . . . .167 





M. TAYLOR . . . . . . . .177 

MOTHER. A Poem by I. GRINEVSKAYA. Translated by SUSETTE M. 

TAYLOR . . . . . . . .185 




by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR ...... 203 




MAUDE ........ 204 


Translated by AUGUSTA CAMPBELL DAVIDSON, M.A. . . 205 


by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR . . . . . .211 

STEEL BIRDS. A Poem by V. BRYUSOV. Translated by LOUISE MAUDE 219 


ANGEL S BLOOD. A Story by A. BUDISCHEV. Translated by ADELINE 

LISTER KAYE ....... 229 

DEBORAH. A Story by T. SCHEPKINA-KUPERNIK. Translated by J. D. 

DUFF, M.A. ........ 235 

EVERY DAY. A Poem by V. BRYUSOV. Translated by SUSETTE M. 

TAYLOR ........ 244 


MIGHTY RUSSIA. A Poem by E. ST. JOHN BROOKS . . . 247 



M.A. . . . . .261 

RUSSIA WITHOUT VODKA. By Professor BEKHTEREV. Translated by 


by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR ...... 277 





The Arrow of the Allies. After a painting by Leon Bakst . Frontispiece 

This picture represents the Dragon of Prussian militarism destroying churches, 
driving the people from their ruined homes, but arrested in his desolating work, transfixed by 
the arrow of the Allies darting from the sun of righteousness. 

The Kremlin. From a water-colour by Sir Walter Mieville, K.C.M.G. . 16 
Decor de Theatre. After a painting by Nicolas Roerich . . .28 

Design for the "Soleil de Nuit " Ballet, performed December 1915 at 
the National Opera House, Paris, for the benefit of the British Red 
Cross Society. After a painting by M. Larionov . . .40 

The Appearance of Svyatagor. From a painting by I. Bilibin, illustrating the 

Byliny or old Russian Folk-Poem " Ilsya Murametz and Svyatagor " . 62 

(a) The Vladimir Madonna ...... 68 

(b] The Patriarch Alexis ...... 70 

(r) Icon in the British Museum, the Department of British and 

Mediaeval Antiquities, photographed by the kind permission of 
Sir Hercules Read, LL.D., F.S.A., F.B.A. ... 72 

The Queen of the Mermaids. After a painting (in the collection of M. 
Zetlin, Paris), by N. Goncharova, Design for the Russian Ballet per 
formed in the United States, 1916 . . . . 76 
Illustrations of an old Russian Folk Tale. After paintings by D. S. 

Stelletsky ....... n^etseq. 

Durochka s grave. After a painting by Martin Travers . . .118 




Durochka shows the Tzar her apple on the silver plate. After a painting 

by Martin Travers ... ... 120 

Design for the Costume worn by Sadko in the Russian Ballet, performed in 
the United States, 1916. After a painting by N. Goncharova, in the 
collection of M. Zetlin, Paris . . . 150 

Design for the "Soleil de Nuit " Ballet, performed December, 1915, at the 
National Opera House, Paris, for the benefit of the British Red Cross 
Society. After a painting by M. Larionov . . . .176 

The Ancestors of Man. After a painting by Nicolas Roerich . . 246 


AMARI (Pseudonym) . 

K. BALMONT (b. 1867) .-, 
VALERY BRYUSOV (b. 1873).) 

V. BEK.HTEREV (b. 1857) . 
A. BUDISCHEV (b. 1867) 

Z. BUKHAROVA (b. 1876) . 

Z. GIPPIUS (b. 1869) . 

I. GRINEVSKAYA (b. 1850) . 


N. I. KAREEV (b. 1850) . 
A. F. KONI (b. 1844). 

(b. 1863) 

A. KUPRIN (b. 1870) . 


A poet well known in Russia for his translations of 
the poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and 
Emily Bronte. 

The most eminent Russian poets of to-day. 

The first among Russian nerve specialists. Founder 
and Director of a hospital for inebriates. 
Professor in the Military Academy of Medicine. 

A widely read novelist. 

A distinguished poetess. 

A poetess and novelist of considerable note. 

A well-known poetess. 

Author of several English books on Russia, notably 
The Russians and their Language^ published in 
August 1916. 

Professor of History at the University of Petrograd. 
Member of the first Duma. 

Senator. Member of the Council of State or 
Russian Upper House. A well-known jurist 
and literary critic. 

Academician. Writer on the History of Literature. 
Professor in the Higher Courses for Women s 
Education at Petrograd. 

A novelist of considerable note. 

A well-known writer and a Professor of Astronomy 
in the Higher Courses of Professor Lesgaft. 

A distinguished lady of letters, widow of the late 
eminent scientist Elie MetchnikofT. 


P. N. MILYUKOV (b. 1859) Leader of the Democratic Constitutional Party in 

the Duma. Sometime Professor of History at 
the University of Moscow. 

I. KH. OZEROV . . Member of the Council of State. Professor of Finan 

cial Law. Writer on Financial Questions. 

PERETTS .... Colonel on the General Staff. Contributor to the 

Military Encyclopaedia. Military correspondent 
of The Retch. 

I. N. POTAPENKO . . A well-known novelist, whose novel The General s 

Daughter has been translated into English. 
(Unwin s Pseudonym Library.) 

A. RiMSKY-KoRSAKOv . A musician and editor of a musical magazine. Son 

of the composer Nicolas Andreievich Rimsky- 
Korsakov (1844-1908). 

T. ScHEPKiNA-KuPERNiK . An eminent poetess and novelist. 

I. W. SHK.LOVSKY (Dioneo) A writer, known in Russia for his books and articles 
(b. 1865) on England. A contributor to The Russkya 

Pedomosti, The Russkoe Bogatsvo, and The 
Festnik Europi. 

FEDOR SOLOGUB . . . One of the most celebrated of contemporary Russian 

novelists, several of whose works have been 
translated into English. 

STRAVINSKY . . .A famous composer. Author of music for the 

Russian ballet. 

PAUL VINOGRADOFF, F.B.A. Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence in the University 
(.1854) of Oxford since 1903. Fellow of the Imperial 

Academy of Sciences at Petrograd. Before 
coming to England he laboured in the cause 
of education in his native country, and was 
Chairman of the Educational Committee in 

A. L. VOLYNSKY . . An eminent literary critic. Author of works on 

Leonardo da Vinci and Dostoevsky, which are 
widely read in Russia and throughout Europe. 

JERONIM YASINSKY . . A well-known writer. 

M. A. CZAPLICKA . . The distinguished Polish traveller in Siberia, a 

writer on Anthropology, and author of My 
Siberian Tear^ contributes an article on "The 
Siberian Colonist or Sibiriak." 




BILIBIN (b. 1876) 


. A painter whose name is indissolubly associated 
with the Russian ballet, and whose work is 
famous not in Russia alone but throughout 
the world. In early life he spent some time 
in England, and for his youthful inspiration 
considers himself indebted to Aubrey Beardsley. 

. A celebrated painter, and one of the most gifted 
of book illustrators. 


(b. 1881) 



The most distinguished of Russian contemporary 
women painters. 

One of the most original of Russian younger 
painters. Founder of the school known as 


Honorary Director of the Imperial Society for the 
Encouragement of Arts. Honorary Member 
of the Imperial Archaeological Institute 
founded by Emperor Nicolas II. 

A painter of great distinction. A leader of the 
archaic school of Russian painting. 














J. D. DUFF, M.A. 










WHAT can the secret link between us be ? 
Why does the song that rolls across your land 
Speak to my soul with notes I understand ? 
Why does the burden of your mystery 

Come like the message of a friend to me ? 
Why do I love the spaces of your plain, 
Your dancing mirth, your elemental pain, 
Your rivers and your sad immensity ? 

I cannot say. I only know that when 
I hear your soldiers singing in the street, 
I see your peasants reaping in the wheat, 
Your children playing on the road, your men 

At prayer before a shrine, I wish them well. 
I know it is with you that I would dwell. 



IN the generations just before our own, the English view of 
Russia or rather the English blindness to Russia was largely 
due to one of those accidents which result from the patchwork 
programmes of the English Party System. One of the great 
Russian novelists, I think, made the shrewd remark : A man 
will say that two and two make five ; but a woman will say that 
two and two make a tallow candle." It amounts to little more, 
perhaps, than saying that a male person will be a sophist even 
when he is a liar. A somewhat similar difference exists between 
a foreign policy when it is founded on a philosophy of real 
opposites, and a foreign policy when it is founded on a sham- 
fight between things that are not really opposite at all. If a 
community is honestly divided on the practical point of using 
tallow candles as articles of diet (as was believed to be the practice 
of Russians by many persons in my youth), we can at least 
reasonably expect that while one side denounces the Russian 
as a tallow-eater, the other side will support him for the same 
rather legendary reason. But if the community is artificially 
divided into those who disapprove of tallow candles and those 
who disapprove of tea for breakfast, it is obvious that a harmless 
Russian found drinking tea on a winter morning by the light 
of a tallow candle will be an object of lurid horror and execration, 
for one reason or another, to the whole of that enlightened 
community. It was a similar fictitious antagonism in the English 
Party System which brought both wings of it, as it were, facing 
eastward, in an equally senseless hostility to Russia, or rather to 
the name of Russia. The Party System had contrived to popularise 


for Englishmen a perfectly unmeaning antithesis between the 
freedom of the citizen and the independence of the nation. 
The Radical was supposed to be a democrat and nothing else, 
the Tory to be a patriot and nothing else. Why the democrat 
should be supposed to be comparatively indifferent to his demo 
cracy being enslaved by an invader, and why the patriot should 
be supposed to care less for the opinion of the people he must 
die to defend, I never could for the life of me understand. It 
seems to be rather like a quarrel between one man wanting a 
house to have an inside, and another, on the contrary, wishing 
it to have an outside. One of the results of the irrationality of 
the partisanship was that each party had a different motive for 
pampering his prejudice against certain foreign communities, 
and especially against the Russian community. The Liberal 
cultivated an infinite and indefinite dislike of all governments, 
but especially of all powerful governments. The Conservative 
cultivated an equally infinite and indefinite dislike of all foreigners, 
but especially of all powerful foreigners. And as practically 
nothing was known in England about the Russian Empire 
beyond the bare two words of that description, the result was 
that the English anti-Imperialist denounced it for being an 
Empire and the Imperialist for being another Empire. The 
real Russian was chiefly occupied in living in Russia, living 
with not a little difficulty, conquered with not a little courage ; 
but his greatest difficulties did not arise from the conduct either 
of foreign governments or his own. They arose from the in 
herent difficulties of his heroic epic of agricultural tenacity. 
But one half of the English imagined that he was always thinking 
about Siberia, and the other that he was always thinking about 
India. One pictured him as everlastingly parading with a knout 
in the Ural mines, and the other as everlastingly lurking with a 
rifle in the Khyber Pass. That he might conceivably have affairs 
of his own to look after, and be largely occupied in looking after 
them, was a possibility of which my countrymen during my 
boyhood hardly ever took any account, either in their romantic 
novels or their equally romantic newspapers. It is true, of 
course, that we have suffered from a somewhat similar confusion 
with regard to countries quite close to us. Thus, during the 


Dreyfus Case, the French soldier was ludicrously slandered in 
England, by one faction because he was French and by the other 
because he was a soldier. Thus, during the Coercionist regime 
in Ireland, one half of English opinion abused the Irishman for 
obeying the priest and the other half for not obeying the land 
lord. But these communities were so close, and so much, as 
it were, within striking distance, that the English discovered 
their mistake in a purely practical manner. The Anglo-French 
Entente soon made them not only aware that French generals 
are not criminal lunatics as a class, but uncommonly glad to be 
sure of their not being so. The Irish Land Act was a tacit ad 
mission that the Irish could and would be prosperous only in 
their own way, and that the priests had been perfectly right 
in sympathising with that way. But Russia was remote ; the 
effects of her action were distant and indirect, and our people 
were commonly unable to correct their journalistic errors by any 
kind of social contact. To this must be added the personal 
accident by which some of the most popular, or at least the most 
fashionable, British politicians were often men peculiarly in 
capable of valuing or even imagining the piety, the poetry, and 
the virile patience of a people like the Russian. Such a limitation 
lay upon a pagan aristocrat like Palmerston, an exotic and 
luxuriant alien like Disraeli, or even on a perfectly honest cynic 
like the late Lord Salisbury. They laid on us the responsibility 
of an enthusiasm for Turkish soldiers, which was internationally 
about as healthy as one for Italian brigands. But though we 
were supposed to be helping the Turks, events have come to 
show that we were much more positively helping the Prussians. 
Disraeli said many true things in his time, and I have always 
thought there was a real truth in his taunt against the doctrine 
of the Manchester School, that it was " Peace and Plenty, amid 
a starving people, and with the world in arms." It is possible 
to accept the dictum, but also possible to parody it ; and what 
Disraeli said about " Peace and Plenty I should be disposed 
to say about " Peace with Honour." When Disraeli came back 
from Berlin, having helped to frustrate Russia and to patch up 
the Turkish Empire, he ought really to have said, I bring 
you back Peace with Honour : peace with the seeds of the most 


horrible of all human wars ; and honour as the first dupe and as 
the last victim of the bullies I have seen at Berlin." 

It is to be hoped, and there is every reason for hoping, that 
in the better days after the War we shall approach the great 
Russian people with an open mind, if necessary as an entirely 
new people discovered on the other side of the moon. When, 
at the beginning of the War, patriotic people of all parties aban 
doned our absurd pantomime politics, I think it very probable 
that they abandoned them for ever. It is at least to be hoped 
that there will be abandoned along with them all those penny 
dreadful pictures of the more remote European countries which 
were used merely as election posters. Then we shall see no 
more of this absurd cross purposes between Eastern and Western 
Europe. In the West we shall no longer see all the ideal Com 
munists taught to abuse the country of the real Communes. 
And we shall no longer see those in England who profess to 
stand for faith and authority, blind to the long heroism of that 
outpost of Christendom against Asiatic anarchy, which has, 
only within the last few days, repeated the valour and the glory 
of Heraclitus at Ispahan. 



ALMOST alone among the cities of Europe, the name of Moscow 
conjures up a vision. At the word the imagination wakes and 
forms a picture. White churches, with clusters of golden domes 
rising from a sea of multi-coloured roofs, modern arcades, ancient 
palaces, and a river winding below the terrace-gardens of the 
world-famed Kremlin. 

But Moscow is not merely a picturesque city with an historic 
past. She is the master-key to the soul of the Russian people. 
For centuries a centre of commercial activity, of intellectual 
growth and political progress, the mental atmosphere of Moscow 
has in it a pervading consciousness, at once arresting and in 
tangible, of spiritual realities. It is religious belief mingled with 
a strong element of mysticism, molten in fire and carnage, and 
welded by blow upon blow. It is the supreme influence which 
penetrates and colours the whole life of Russia to a degree which 
we of the West can hardly understand, and which owes far less 
than we are apt to imagine to ritual and dogma. By the power 
of faith in Divine Providence, Moscow, in the extremity of her 
peril, struck fear into the heart of the Mongol, and by that 
power she rose again and again from her ashes, lodging her 
princes within the fortress-walls of her great monasteries and 
making treasure-houses of her cathedrals. 

In the dawn of Russian History, when dense forests hindered 
migration and the rivers were the highways of commerce, 
Moscow a village of log-huts at the meeting-point of two 
water-courses was simply a halting-place for traders between 
the Baltic and the Black Sea, and the summer camping-ground 
of a prince of Suzdal. 

But when Kievan Rus was laid waste by the Golden Horde, 



Moscow the city of churches became the champion of Russian 

The story of Moscow in the Middle Ages is an errdless re 
petition of sieges, burnings, massacres ; death-agonies amid 
the throes of birth, and riches amassed only to excite the greed 
and provoke the attacks of insatiate foes. Grand-dukes, princes, 
tsars even, bowed beneath the yoke of the Khanate, until step 
by step unity and autocracy emerged from chaos, and Russia 
discovered herself to Western Europe as an Empire. 

Throughout the tangled web one thread alone may be traced 
unbroken from end to end the dominance of the Greek Church, 
which, by its faithfulness to the national cause during the evil 
days of Mongol supremacy, fostered the courage of the harassed 
people, and at the same time gathered strength to itself. 

Ravaged by the Mohamedan Tartar, beset by the Catholic 
Pole, the Muscovite held fast to the Byzantine tradition, and at 
the opening of the fourteenth century Moscow rather by 
fortuitous circumstances than design became the ecclesiastical 
capital of Russia. 

In 1299 Kiev was sacked and ruined by the Tartars, and 
the inhabitants fled northwards in large numbers ; but the 
Metropolitan (or Head of the Church), though he removed to 
Vladimir for safety, journeyed south from time to time to visit 
his Kievan bishoprics, resting on the way at Moscow. Thus 
the saintly Peter, writing in the fourteenth century, chronicles 
that he " did often halt and make a long sojourn in Moscow," 
where he was the guest and honoured friend of Ivan the First 
(Kalita). It is recorded that the aged Metropolitan, on his 
death-bed, bade farewell to Ivan with the following prophetic 
words : " My son, if thou shouldst hearken unto me, and shouldst 
build the church of the Holy Mother and shouldst lay me to 
rest in thy city, then of a surety wilt thou be glorified above all 
other Princes in the land, and thy sons and thy grandsons also, 
and this city will herself be glorified above all other Russian 
cities, and the Saints will come and dwell in her, and the hands 
of her Princes shall be upon the necks of our enemies. Thus 
will it ever be so long as my bones shall lie therein." 

The Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Sobor), built 


by Kalita, has been at various periods stripped of its treasures 
and burnt to the ground, but the original features have been 
preserved by its several architects and one may still see among 
the sacred relics, cased in gold and adorned with splendid jewels, 
the revered icon known as the Virgin of Vladimir, 1 upon whose 
entry into Moscow the dreaded Timur withdrew his armies, 
being warned in a dream of impending disaster. 

It is not possible to a race which has largely lost touch with 
religious symbolism to see in this ancient icon what a Russian 
sees, but at least it should be sacred to us as a memorial of the 
fortitude and the faith of a great people. These scarred and 
blackened survivals of a tragic past are signs which only the 
children of the inheritance may read aright, but he who does 
not view them with reverence must stand shut out for ever from 
the soul of Russia. 

At the south porch of the Uspensky Cathedral the " golden 
gates of Korsun bear witness to the principal source from 
which Muscovite artists drew inspiration throughout the Middle 
Ages. Figures of the Apostles appear side by side with Homer 
and Plato, while hard by, in the Cathedral of the Annunciation, 
the Fathers of the Church are associated with Greek philosophers 
and historians, such as Socrates and Menander, Aristotle and 

In 1472 the Greek element in Moscow was strengthened 
and augmented by the marriage of Ivan III. with the 
Byzantine princess, Sophia Paleologa. Besides causing an influx 
of Greek and Italian artists and men of learning, Sophia intro 
duced what one may term the Imperial Idea into the statecraft 
of Muscovy, and she is credited with rousing the Tsar to active 
resentment of the Tartar yoke. From that time forward he 
claimed the title of " Emperor of all Rus," but the final expulsion 
of the Tartars from Russian soil was the work of Ivan the Terrible. 

It is not possible here to attempt a balanced estimate of that 
most tragic figure. Enough to say the evil he did was spread 
abroad, while the greatness of his achievements as the organiser 
of reforms and the conqueror of his country s enemies is probably 
little realised beyond the bounds of Russia. Moscow, during 

1 See post, pp. 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, and illustration. 


his reign, became the magnet to which not only foreign embassies 
were drawn, but English commerce, attracted by Ivan s kindly 
reception of a party of shipwrecked voyagers, established a 
footing in Moscow and laid the foundations of the Russia 

But of the various innovations encouraged by Ivan, none 
can be accounted so momentous as the setting-up of the first 
Russian printing-press. In 1564, despite the hostility which 
threatened the very lives of the printers, The Acts of the 
Apostles was issued from the building which, though it has 
been several times reconstructed and restored, retains to this 
day the picturesque architecture of the Middle Ages. 

In the Bylinys, or epic songs, of Moscow, the terrible Tsar 
is presented as a national hero and lauded as a pious son of the 
Church, who piled the riches of the Tartar strongholds, Kazan 
and Astrakhan, upon the altars of Moscow. 

In memory of the taking of Kazan he built the strange, 
fantastic edifice which strikes the eye more than any other church, 
perhaps, in all Russia. The Vasily Blagenny, standing isolated 
in the Grand Square, with its eleven domes of pseudo-Oriental 
shapes, its gilded spires and brilliant colouring, forms a fitting 
epitaph upon the medley of pride, passion, intellect, and super 
stition which made up the character of Ivan IV. 

Just upon twenty years after his death the citizens of Moscow 
thronged the Grand Square to acclaim Mikhail Fedorovich 
Romanov as their future Tsar. 

With this election of an autocratic ruler by the voice of the 
people a new era began for Moscow and the Empire. The 
Imperial Idea was thus fulfilled. 

Thenceforward for a lengthy period the inherent democratic 
sympathies of the Rus were subservient to the Imperial sceptre, 
or showed themselves only in vestiges of the primitive communal 
system in agricultural and village life. 

It was the fate of Moscow at her zenith to be reduced to 
secondary political importance by the Tsar who is regarded as 
the regenerator of Russia, but Peter the Great, in removing the 
seat of government to the banks of the Neva, humiliated without 
being able to eclipse the ancient capital. 


It was not humanly possible, even had he so desired, to de 
throne Mother Moscow from her spiritual supremacy in 
the heart of the nation, nor was it conceivable that a Tsar of 
Russia could be crowned anywhere but in the hallowed place 
where one by one the builders of the Empire had been anointed 
with the Holy Oil. 

The grandson of Mikhail Romanov, though he despoiled 
the Kremlin to beautify the new city of St. Petersburg and heaped 
the Lobnoe Mesto with the heads of the rebellious Streltsy, left 
no lasting mark on Moscow, which continued to grow in com 
mercial prosperity and to evolve democratic tendencies even 
under the domination of the imperious Catherine. 

The principal change effected was due to the preference of 
both Peter and Catherine the Great for Tsarskoe Selo, so that 
the presence of the sovereign in Moscow came to be regarded as 
an event rather than the normal state of things. Peter s visits 
to his natal city were apt to resemble punitive expeditions, while 
Catherine made her state entries either to assert her authority, 
as in the case of Pugachev s conspiracy and execution, or to 
commemorate a national victory. 

In 1773 a magnificent fete was held to celebrate a victory 
over the Turks. Catherine entered the city in a gold coach 
drawn by eight horses, and was greeted by joy-bells and salvos 
of cannon. The Grand Square and the large public grounds, 
such as the Khodinka, were crowded with tents where feasting 
went on continually, and booths to which jugglers and acrobats, 
dwarfs and giants drew crowds of merry-makers. At nightfall 
the Uspensky Cathedral, lit with myriads of tapers, was the 
scene of an impressive ceremony. Catherine, attended by the 
flower of the nobility, was anointed by the Metropolitan with 
consecrated oil, and prostrated herself before the seamless coat 
of our Saviour, which had been presented to the great Patriarch 
Philaret by the Shah Abbas of Persia, and was said to have worked 
many miraculous cures. 

Unhappily in the latter years of her reign Catherine s rela 
tions with Moscow were of another complexion. 

Below the surface of the national life a movement towards 
intellectual expansion had been slowly germing, owing to the 


efforts of the Russian Freemasons. In Moscow the birthplace 
in Russia of the printed book, and the seat of the first Russian 
university the publicist Novikov and his colleague Shvarts 
were devoting their energies to the cause of education. For a 
time the Freemasons enjoyed the favour of Catherine, but when 
the revolutionary upheaval in France shook Europe, the Empress, 
alarmed for her own security, became distrustful of the friends 
of progress and threw Novikov into prison, whence he was only 
released in the reign of her son and successor, Paul. 

From the death of Catherine until the Napoleonic crisis, 
the intellectual life of Moscow was like a tideless sea, whose 
normal calm is every now and again broken by sudden waves 
that rise threateningly, propelled by invisible forces, and sink 
back into quiescence, having made hardly any perceptible 
advance. The suppression of the Freemasons and the terrible 
fate of the Decembrists effectually checked the stream of change, 
and Church and State combined to nullify the efforts of pro 
gressive enthusiasts. 

Then came that supreme moment in the history of Russia 
when progressives and reactionaries joined together to brave 
the menace of Napoleon, and Moscow accepted the ordeal by 
fire which has exalted her above all the cities of Europe as the 
saviour of her country. 

To those who were compelled to leave her to her fate she 
must have appeared beautiful beyond all that they had ever 
realised, with the sacred beauty of a revered mother. Napoleon, 
viewing Moscow from the summit of the Sparrow Hills, in the 
golden haze of an autumnal afternoon, saw in the splendid 
panorama stretched before him the rich fulfilment of his 

Moscow in 1812 had left behind her the golden age of the 
early Romanovs, but in expanding and submitting to Western 
innovations she had retained much of her original picturesqueness. 

True, the mediaeval mansions of the Boyars with their 
wealth of colour and ornament had given place, with rare 
exceptions, to a formal cosmopolitan architecture devoid of charm 
or character, but the great monasteries lay like fragments of a 
titanic ring of stone marking the old-time limits of the town, and 


interspersing among the huddled disorder of poor tenements 
the verdant spaces of their wide demesnes. 

Untouched by change, upon the high ground above the river, 
the bell-tower of Ivan-Veliky, white and slender, with its tall 
golden cross, shot up from among the green roofs of the Kremlin, 
and beyond the inner wall, in strong contrast to the modern 
buildings in their neighbourhood, stood the old printing-house, 
which recalled the stormy days of Ivan the Terrible, and the 
House of the Synod, which, until the reign of Peter the Great, 
had been the palace of the Patriarchs. 

The heavy scent of incense hung about the shrines from 
whence the icons had been hastily removed, and the candles 
lighted for the last service in the Uspensky Sobor were barely 
extinct when the French armies entered Moscow. 

Crowned as with a diadem by her golden spires, vestured in 
the green of her orchards and the antique beauty of her white- 
walled citadel, she surrendered herself to the invader like a king s 
daughter arrayed for sacrifice. 

The ending all men know, and how Moscow, phoenix-like, 
sprang up from her ashes more rich and it may be more beautiful 
than before, and throbbing with a quickened pulse because 
hope ran high and the spirit of the nation rejoiced. 

Then came inevitable disillusions and reactions, until that 
great day in the history of Russia when the law was signed by 
which more than twenty millions of Serfs received their freedom. 
Apart from this beneficent act of Alexander II., the years which 
followed upon his accession were full of promise. Moscow 
became the nucleus of a brilliant and distinguished group of 
writers, and the University of Moscow, which during the first 
years of its foundation could boast but a poor thirty students, 
teemed with young, ardent minds, hot with a vague, generous 
enthusiasm, which presently found vent in what was termed 
going in among the people." 

The Tsar had been disappointed by the backwardness of 
his faithful Moscow noblesse to embrace his schemes of 
reform in regard to the Serfs ; he was now confronted by a 
problem of a different character in the awakening of the " In 


The young generation of intellectuals was out for freedom 
of thought, of speech, of action. They were determined to sow 
their theories among the newly-freed peasantry, and there 
began a great outgoing from Moscow. Cultured men and women 
took up their abode in remote villages and in manufacturing 
towns, becoming doctors, school teachers, midwives, and factory 
hands, so that they might educate and come into touch with the 
hitherto unknown moujik. 

They scattered seed with varying success, but what they 
gave out was as nothing to what they brought back new sym 
pathies, fresh ideals, the discovery of much fine gold in the 
hearts of the unlettered and the humble, of a deep religious 
faith that knew nothing of dogma and a Christianity that had 
never heard of Byzantium. 

There resulted that splendid and amazing birth of a new 
spirit in Russian literature, which gave forth its message from 
the lips and in the lives of peasants. 

Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Gorky, and their fellows portrayed 
the moujik with a sensitive and intimate touch that the master 
pieces of Gogol and Turgenev somehow lacked. All intellectual 
Europe was converted, and the seeds of international understand 
ing were sown. Moscow became the new Mecca of the lover 
of literature and the student of the art of the stage, and was in 
danger of becoming as cosmopolitan as Petrograd. She might 
well have done so but for the paramount influence of a religious 
fervour which, in spite of counter-currents within and assaults 
from without, still remained the abiding spirit of the place. 

The religious history of Russia is so interwoven with the 
national life of Russia that the one appears almost to include the 
other. The rule of the Muscovite princes, from the date of their 
conversion, was strengthened by the loyal support of the Church, 
which they in their turn exalted and enriched by every means 
in their power. 

The story of the Patriarchs of Moscow forms a noble chapter 
in the annals of Christianity, and it is a significant fact that the 
reverence of the people for such as they deemed holy men of 
God remained unshaken by the fiat of (Ecumenical Councils or 
even the decree of the Tsar. When the Patriarch Nikon was 


being brought back, dying, to Moscow after many years of 
disgrace and banishment, his barge, as it passed by the banks of 
the Volga, was surrounded by eager throngs who plunged into 
the river, kissing his hands and his garments, and imploring 
him to give them his blessing. In like manner, when the Patri 
archate was replaced by the institution of the Holy Synod, the 
reverence of orthodox believers for the Head of the Church 
knew no check. 

The venerable Nikon uttered the established conviction 
alike of laity and priesthood when he said, The Tsar has 
committed to him the things of this world, but I have committed 
to me the things of Heaven." 

At the same time those periods when Church and State were 
most closely bound together, sharing between them the burden 
of power and the defence of the realm, were times of growth 
and development, breathing-spaces between storm and storm. A 
signal instance was the joint rulership of Alexis Romanov with 
his father, the wise and noble Metropolitan Filaret. 

The religious faith of the Russian nation seeks expression 
in imagery, but rises to that higher symbolism which merely 
avails itself of material things to give visible shape to the realities 
of the soul. 

Thus, when the first wooden structure of the Uspensky 
Cathedral was rebuilt in stone, the remains of the four great 
Patriarchs, Peter and Theognostes, Cyprian and Photius, were 
laid beneath the foundations as the corner-stones of the sacred 
edifice. The act itself was allied to Paganism, but the mystic 
thought which it embodied soars upward as the pinnacle of a 
temple not made with hands. 

Symbolism is of the very essence of the Russian temperament, 
knit up with its closest fibres, and expressing itself almost un 
consciously in moments of deep feeling ; as when Dostoievsky s 
hero, kneeling before the unfortunate Sonia, says to her, It 
is not before you I am kneeling, but before all the suffering of 

That divine instinct of pity for suffering humanity is seldom 
absent from the Russian heart. The giving of alms enters as 
naturally into the daily life of Moscow as the continual offering 




2 J 

3 > 
s ? 

w > 

^ 2 

X 73 










up of prayer in the small chapels at the street corners and the 
services in the old and splendid cathedrals. 

To contemplate this union of mysticism and piety with 
practical, every-day existence is to realise that, as a modern 
writer has said, " Christianity is the simplest thing left in the 

It also enables us to understand what Moscow means to 
Russia ; how the vast Empire needs the ancient Mother-city 
both as a memorial and an inspiration, and how the Russian 
praying at her altars, toiling in the factories, dying on the battle 
field, still reverences her as the shrine of his faith. 



BESIDE some swiftly-rushing fountain 

Build thou thine house in solitude ; 
Where rocky steep, and verdant mountain, 

The lonely dale guard and seclude ; 
Where, in the woods of rustling beeches, 

That crown the height, reigns silence deep ; 
Where now and then a sunbeam reaches, 

And on the ground falls fast asleep. 

Like some recluse, who in the morning 

Pours forth his thanks in paeans meet, 
At daybreak sing, thy praise adorning 

With joyous hymns and strophes sweet. 
Then, free from murmur and contention, 

Labour until the noonday heat ; 
Search without care or apprehension 

Water and fruits to drink and eat. 

Thy morning s work will make it sweeter 

At noontide to enjoy thy rest ; 
The simple board will seem completer, 

The quietude will seem more blest. 
Like to a sovereign throned in splendour, 

Neath cedar canopy reclined, 
Thy memories to thee shall render 

Thoughts from wise books kept in thy mind. 



But soon the heat will be abated, 

And sunset s fiery rays will sting 
The cliff s great rampart castellated, 

And on the grass its shadow fling. 
Then wander through the sloping meadows 

And see the fearless stag draw near, 
Emerging from the woodland shadows 

Listening, and pleased thy voice to hear. 

The bird shall tell thy vespers sweetly, 

And while his gentle notes he trills, 
An eagle bears a leveret fleetly 

Towards her eyry on the hills. 
Sweet scents arise, from plants and flowers, 

That gleam with many a dewdrop s spark, 
The murmuring cascade in showers 

Falls, showing dimly through the dark, 

These joys thine easy toil outvying, 

Beneath the starlight sit and think ; 
Thine antlered friend beside thee lying, 

Three cups of blessing thou shalt drink : 
In solitude to reign at leisure ; 

To sing sweet carols from thy heart ; 
Where none may hear, or mar thy pleasure 

To live from Woman far apart ! 


For the Russian original of this poem see Appendix, p. 297. 





TO-NIGHT there is a concert. First the chime 
Of sheep-bells plays the overture ; the dogs 
Blend their harsh music with the croaking frogs, 
The watchman s rattle punctuates the time. 
Like water bubbling in a crystal jar 
The nightingale begins a liquid trill, 
Another answers : and the world s so still 
You d think that you could hear that falling star. 

I scarcely see for light the stars that swim 
High in the heaven which is not dark, but dim. 
The women s voices echo far away ; 
And on the road two lovers sing a song : 
They sing the joy that only lasts a day, 
They sing the pain that lasts a whole life long. 


the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of Arts ; 
Honorary Member of the Imperial Archaeological Institute 
Emperor Nicolas II. 


DARE we, at the present moment, speak of Art in these days 
of a great War, when one hears, and quite rightly, denunciations 
of senseless luxury and waste ? It would be well if public 
opinion were to banish these true servitors of the very worst 
beginnings of triviality triviality, that unseen evil corroding 
the masses of nations. But I speak of authentic Art, not senseless 
luxury. It is not waste to worship the deities of Truth and 
Beauty. Art is a necessity. Art is life. 

Is a Cathedral a luxury ? Can books and knowledge be a 
waste ? Naturally, in the interests of Art, in the search of joys 
of the spirit, one needs sense, inspiration, and knowledge. And 
if Art is a necessity and part of a higher life, then, of course, 
one may speak of Art. 

If Art serves its country, then, of course, we bow before it, 
and the service of one s country depends not on moral illustrations, 
but on the elevation of taste, on the growth of self-knowledge, 
of self-respect, of the education of the mind, even in times of 
war. In these days of a great reckoning of values it is necessary, 
in the name of the higher economies, to collect and to create. 
He who believes in victory creates something. He knows that 
those who fight for the right will conquer the enemies of mankind. 
That is our belief. 

Russian Art has received great recognition from our friends, 
our Allies in the West. Our theatre was rapturously acclaimed 



in Paris and in London. Parisians and Londoners appreciated 
our artistes, went into ecstasies over singers and music, 
remember my share in Dyagilev s dramatic representations (his 
ballets, etc.) with a feeling of deep emotion. Hands unknown, 
but sincerely friendly, were stretched out to us. 

The recognition and ratification of Russian Art have taken 
place. By means of a recently awakened interest in contem 
porary Art, by the study of our past, we have realised what an 
original treasure we possess. 

We shall soon dispense with the stepping-stones of Art. By 
recent investigation we have understood that there belongs to 
us the most marvellous stone age of any nation. Excavations 
have brought to light many ancient monuments. The discovery 
of these treasures has revealed the artistic wealth of a migratory 

The nomad Scythians discovered our golden land. We are 
now acquainted with the mysterious inhabitants of unknown towns. 
From them we pass to the Slavs and the roving Varangians from 
Scandinavia. The evidences of a very considerable Varangian- 
Roman heritage in Art and Architecture have accumulated, 
and received great admiration for severity and dignity of style. 
We must not omit from our little sketch the vast Finnish phantas 
magoria. There glitter the beautiful gifts of the East. Illustrious 
Byzantium bestows its blessing. Italian Art breathes upon us 
its transforming perfume. Besides the greatness of ancient 
Kiev and free Novgorod, besides the splendour of Moscow and 
the many-coloured Yaroslav, as well as the designs of Peter and 
Elizabeth, there have reached us in the most recent excavations 
new treasures, which so far we have not yet had full time to study. 

Soon shall we be able to marvel and admire. 

And our wonder and admiration we shall share with our 
remotest brethren, and say : Do but admire ! Just come to our 
country ! Learn to distinguish holidays from dull work days ! 

We must forgive all those who not long ago denied the 
existence of Russian Art ; for they did not know ! for they, 
poor things, had not seen ! 

We understood what our excellent old mural paintings and 
icons were ; they were our unrivalled primitives ! 


The magic, decorative, miraculous faces of our icons : what 
a conception of austere silhouettes, and what a sense of proportion 
in the restricted backgrounds ! 

The face sorrowful, the face terrible, the face benevolent, 
the face joyous, the face pitying, the face almighty ! Ever the 
same eternal physiognomy, restless features, fathomless colouring, 
and sublime impression of the miraculous ! 

It is only recently that icons and mural paintings have been 
considered, not as rough representations, but as a magnificent 
artistic instinct. 

What sublimity in the tranquil figures of the mural paintings 
at Novgorod ! What daring of colour description in the bright 
mural decorations in the Churches of Yaroslav and Rostov ! 
Go and see the Predtetchi Church (Church of the Forerunner) * 
in Yaroslav. You are surrounded by the most marvellous 
colouring. These artists boldly combine azure of the most 
ethereal tints with lovely ochres. How ethereal the grey-green, 
and how beautiful the ruddy brown garments look against it ! 
Terrible Archangels, with thick gold haloes, are flying in a warm 
light sky, and their white tunics are almost snowier than the 
background. The walls are of the finest silk tissue, worthy to 
adorn the great dwelling of the Forerunner. Of late years 
Russian Art has been so much studied that one can discuss it as 
soon as one has set eyes on it. 

The supreme achievements of the theatre, arising out of 
previous conditions and following the success of excellent decora 
tive artists, such as Golovin, A. Benois, Korovin, Dobujinsky, 
Kustodiev, have resulted in the very best mise en scene. 

In the same way the popular art of folklore has been fostered ; 
and whole organisations of committees teach and support what 
is best in Russian Art. Among the pioneers of the development 
of national talent, those who occupy an honoured place are the 
Princesses Tenishev, Yashvill, Mesdames Yakunchikov, Davidov, 
S. Morozov, and others who have worked assiduously at improv 
ing home and artistic industries. 

Admirable lace, tissues, carpets, and paintings are regarded not 
as curios, but as something important in a household. Realising, 

1 John the Baptist. 


therefore, both our possibilities and our national treasures, we 
bring back into the life of to-day much of that which has 
been but newly discovered, which was recently unimagined, 
which lay as deeply buried as ore and precious stones. We 
must admit that in the matter of self-knowledge the War has done 
a great deal. 

With regard to public edifices, recent indifferent architecture 
has been transformed by bold achievements. Among the group 
of architects who have had various successes in Art, there stand 
out the names of Schusema, Schuko, Lanseray, Pokrovsky, 
Jeltovsky, Lidvalia, Peretiatkovich. In the last few years a 
number of churches and municipal buildings have been erected 
in Petrograd and Moscow. 

After ecclesiastical fabrics there followed the erection of 
banks, railway stations, and schools. It was realised that beauty 
should penetrate everywhere, wherever crowds collected. We 
may now dream of a day when the walls and ceilings of govern 
ment buildings, universities, courts, and public offices, instead 
of being disfigured by cobwebs, will be adorned by frescoes and 
hangings of beautiful colours. So soon as Art comes to life, 
the need of it grows with the generation. 

Art exhibitions are multiplying. Among the very best 
were those organised by the Mir Iskusstva* (The World of 
Art), The Society oj Russian Artists, and the Peredvijnaya 
(The Society oj Itinerant Exhibitions). The most progressive 
and tolerant of these new institutions was The World oj Art, 
which had among its contributors such artists as Somov, Lanseray, 
Alexander Benois, Dobujinsky, Petrov-Vodkin, Yakovlev, Bili- 
bin, Mashkov. The Society of Russian Artists is very like 
The World of Art in many ways, and enjoys the collaboration 
of such eminent artists as Korovin, Yuon, Rilov, Bobrovsky, 
Jukovsky, Maluitin, and Maliavin. 

Professors Riepin, Makovsky, also Bogdanov - Belsky, 
Dubovsky, Bilyanitsky-Birulya, support the Peredvijnaya, which 
remains true to its old traditions. 

So, in these years of war, Art proves to be needed, and 

1 This periodical ceased to appear in 1905. Miss Netta Peacock, the writer of the 
following article, was its English correspondent. [Ed.] 


in these ever - recurring exhibitions is expressed a faith in 

The War gives rise to another serious question : the future 
of crippled soldiers ; and a great deal is being done in that respect. 

The Red Cross and private institutions are enabling the 
crippled soldiers to get into touch with various branches of 
applied arts, which will provide them with a real and valued 
means of support. Belonging as I do to one of these institutions, 
I am able to assert that the people prove to have unlimited capa 
bilities, and that they show an interest in the work. 

In the matter of self-knowledge we have thus seen the meaning 
of Art, that powerful lever of culture. We recognise that we 
have to sow the seed of authentic Art with a lavish hand. We 
have to scatter leaflets, pictures, letters, magazines of all sizes. 
We have to penetrate into all school libraries. We have to 
influence the thought of studious youth outside the schools. 
We have to lead youth to the lands of the glorious past, to turn 
its attention to Art by means of the monuments of antiquity which 
have been brought to light. We must protect the joys of the 
spirit, so rare in our days, from all the powers of darkness. 

Russia can exhibit in great variety, and to the general esteem 
of all nations, well arranged treasures of Art, and can, as a brother, 
shake hands with all our allied friends. This summer we went 
to an immense fountain of iron water in the province of Nov 
gorod. In the midst of a meadow gushed forth a fount of living 
waters. There was no need for any one to walk into that field. 
The healing waters flowed near the high road. 

All the boundless realm of Russian wealth, all the treasures 
of Art, all that healing flood is full of living waters. 

Russia is that overflowing spring. 






O H 


Q < 




Editor of the Russian Year-books 

THERE was a time when one might almost say that every art 
and every craft was a peasant art or craft. Then art was a living 
thing in every man s life ; no one wrote about the " Relation of 
Art to Life," no one even thought about it it simply was. 
When the lowly folk were making the things that every one used, 
spinning and weaving not only their own garments but those 
of masterful lords and exalted ladies, hammering and beating 
into shape with their own hands now castle-gates, now kitchen 
pots and pans, carving intricate designs on heavy oaken beams 
or doorways or hand-bowls, then to be penniless did not shut 
out the worker from the joy of helping to make the world beau 
tiful. Simple and homely folk fashioned simple and homely 
goods in their own simple and homely way. This well-nigh 
universal state of things, long-lived as it was, has, almost before 
our eyes, been strangled by the rapid growth of modern industry. 
The peasant worker on entering the factory has lost the enjoy 
ment of spontaneous beauty in the surroundings of his daily life, 
however much in some material aspects he may have gained. 

Russia, with its enormous population, for the greater part 
of which agriculture is, in the nature of things, the staple industry, 
shows a complete round of these Home Industries, though at 
one time their gradual extinction seemed likely to result from 
the changes involved by the emancipation of the serfs. Thanks 
to the natural tenacity of the peasant and the timely help of a 
number of landowners who recognised the value of these in 
dustries to a country so vast and to a population so scattered, the 
peasants were enabled to pass through the crisis and slowly to 



adjust themselves to new conditions. The success of this re 
adjustment has been largely due to the action, first of the zemstvos, 
and later of the Imperial Government, who instituted a system 
of distribution of raw material in those districts where material 
was unobtainable, and who established sale rooms, etc., to facilitate 
the circulation of kustarny 1 goods, for which there was and is a 
steadily growing demand. The wisdom of this encouragement 
was strikingly proved only last year. When war broke out the 
supply of surgical instruments to name only one among many 
similar needs was utterly inadequate, and there was no means 
of obtaining them through the ordinary channels of commerce. 
At this juncture the peasant industries proved themselves in 
valuable ; in the Gorbatov district of Nijni-Novgorod and in 
the villages of Pavlovo and Vozma the kustari organised them 
selves for rapid output, and set to work with such goodwill that 
within a short time they had made instruments to pattern to the 
value of some 900,000 roubles. 

Unlike our agricultural population, whose daily task is con 
fined to the very necessary one of supplying the community with 
food, millions of Russian peasants are driven by the conditions 
of their life to divide their year between work in the field and the 
special craft peculiar to the village or district to which they 
belong. Home Industries, it is true, are not so common in those 
governments where the soil is fruitful, for there sowing, reaping, 
and the in-gathering of the harvest keep man and woman busy 
enough, but in other governments Nijni-Novgorod, for 
instance thousands of peasants have ceased to take any part 
even in the cultivation of their ow r n land, devoting all their time 
to their craft. 

While all over the world the factory has crushed cottage 
industry out of existence, in Russia the peasant-worker not only 
survives, but, where he is not an indispensable auxiliary, is a 
successful competitor. Nor is this a recent development. Peter 
the Great in his desire to foster the linen industry restricted the 
peasant-worker to weaving narrow linen only, leaving the more 
marketable widths to be made by the new factories, and from his 
time on there is a constant succession of complaints and petitions 

1 Goods made by peasant craftsmen for sale. 


from the merchants asking for restrictions on one peasant industry 
after another, to which the Government usually turned a deaf ear. 
To-day something like a division of the market exists. Peasant- 
made goods compete on an equal footing with the factory pro 
ducts in the great Fair of Nijni-Novgorod, their producers 
having learnt to take advantage of the economy resulting from 
the division of labour. 

At first every village, almost every household, produced for 
itself whatever it used ; but, as wants grew and life became more 
complex, as it became easier to obtain some necessities by ex 
change than to produce them for oneself, there arose a simple 
division of labour. With the increase of population this process 
of specialisation developed at a rapid rate, and when, for example, 
the weavers of a village ceased to exchange their linen for the 
bowls of one neighbouring village and the cutlery of another, and 
began to take orders for their work or to carry it to the local fair, 
the kustar had come into existence. At the present day the 
kustarny industry has become so locally specialised that nearly 
all the padlocks of Russia are made in one district and sold 
throughout the country by hawkers from another a hundred 
miles away. As for that part of the kustarny products sold at 
the great Fair of Nijni - Novgorod, its importance may be 
gathered from the fact that the total sales average over thirty 
million roubles per annum. 

The conditions under which this immense volume of work 
is carried on can hardly be realised by any one who has no per 
sonal experience of them. In some cases when the volume of 
trade justifies it the kustar will rig up a little workshop and there, 
with the aid of some fellow-villagers, set to w r ork, but in more 
cases the whole manufacture is done at home. Imagine, as I 
have seen it often, a little wooden hut, roughly thatched, measur 
ing about twenty feet each way, the crevices between the tree 
boles of which the walls are made tightly stuffed with bast and 
bark, a little passage, half store-room, half entry, cut off from 
the one living-room in which the whole life of the peasant from 
birth to death is spent. No furniture a table, some benches, 
the icon in the corner with the lamp burning before it, a large 
stove at one end of the room which serves as a sleeping place for 

3 2 


the heads of the family, a cradle swung from a rafter and rocked 
by a string attached to the foot of the worker, and all the rest of 
the space taken up by the loom at which the weaver works from 
dawn to dusk. Or again, the potter in his shed open to the air, 
throwing his vessels on the wheel, his oven beside him, in which 
they will be fired. One such worker I remember well, a true 
artist, so proud of his work that he signed it with a modest boast : 
" My love of work and of my art brought me a silver medal 
and a certificate at the Exhibition of Romny, 1899. Fedor 
Lukyanovich Pivinsky, Village Opochnaya, District of Zinkov." 

The monasteries themselves have taken up the methods of 
the peasant industry in the production of various objects of 
religious interest which they sell to visitors. I once visited a 
convent which had taken up, as an addition to the usual employ 
ment of embroidery and fine needlework, the industry of icon- 
painting. The work was being carried on in a long well-lighted 
room by a large party of young novices, very busy-looking in 
their quaint, tight-fitting, black velvet caps. They worked under 
the supervision of an elderly nun. Each had a panel before her 
on an easel, and beside it the painting to be copied. They hardly 
spared a glance for the strange intruder who had forced an 
entrance after much entreaty. Apart from the interest of the 
place and the people, the method itself was sufficiently remark 
able, for in the ordinary course of production an icon is made 
by the combination of the labour of some half-dozen workers, 
one preparing the panel, another laying the ground, a third 
putting in the background, another the robes, and the master- 
worker himself painting in the face and hands. Nearly 200,000 
roubles worth of cheap icons are sold every year at the Nijni- 
Novgorod Fair alone. 

It is not within my province to speak of the influence of 
the kustar on modern Russian art, yet I cannot refrain from 
recalling the immense debt owed to him by the whole modern 
movement in Russian decorative art, illustration, embroidery, 
wood-carving, even the world-famous ballet itself. In 1884 
Helen Dmitrievna Polenov first thought of applying her exten 
sive knowledge of the art and archaeology of her country and her 
extraordinary feeling for ornament to making designs based 


upon old Russian motifs for embroideries and carved wood 
furniture, etc. Encouraged by the well-known critic Stasov, 
and aided by Victor Vasnetsov the first artist to design scenery 
and costumes on national lines for the Russian opera she 
became the pioneer of a new national art. 

How long ago it seems since Art mattered ! but the kustar 
is still doing his work for Russia. All through the terrible 
exodus of homeless wanderers from the Western frontier stalls 
heaped with goods made by the peasant for the peasant s need 
have been hastily set up sometimes in the rough broken road, 
more often in the great open courtyards of the monasteries on 
the long highway, where the hopeless and helpless are cared for 
in their brief rest before starting off again, comforted and strength 
ened on their weary quest for a new abiding place by the familiar 
sight of simple homely things made by simple homely people. 





DAZZLED by the splendour of M. Dyagilev s ballet, Shalyapin s 
acting, Mr. Stephen Graham s picturesque concoctions of mush 
rooms, snowstorms, and icons, and breathless reports of the 
marvellous golden screens used by the Moscow Art Theatre in 
their Gordon Craig production of Hamlet, the Englishman visit 
ing Russia expects, naturally enough, to find the Russian theatre 
an extremely brilliant affair. 

What the Russian theatre is or is not it is not for me, who have 
known Russia only in war-time, to say. I have been thrilled, I 
have been disappointed, I have been bored ; on the whole I have 
found that, for me, there is too much Ostrovsky and too little 
enterprise, that the Moscow Art Theatre is now magnificent 
and now again most heavily lethargic, and that there are appar 
ently few living Russian dramatists of any compelling interest. 
All this simply points to the fact that we, in England, are in 
general too ready to exalt any foreign theatre at the expense of 
our own, and that even if, at this present moment, we may have 
nothing finer to show our foreign visitors than the genius of Mr. 
George Robey, the melancholy irony of Miss Lee White, or the 
delicate parodies of Mr. Nelson Keys, we need not blush even 
for these. 

There are things nevertheless in the Russian theatre to-day 
that are amongst the finest products of Art that the world has now 
to offer, and one of these things is the acting by the Moscow Art 
Theatre in Chekhov s plays, The Cherry Tree Garden and The 



Three Sisters. This particular appreciation is, of course, by now 
a commonplace of criticism, and I would not emphasise it here 
were it not that it is precisely in such plays as these that the 
Russian theatre not only in the Art Theatre in Moscow, but 
in the smallest booths and cinema-halls of Petrograd, Kiev, or 
Odessa finds real play for its own peculiar, most original genius. 
Watch the presentation by the Art Theatre of Maeterlinck s 
Blue Bird, or their dramatic version of The Cricket on the Hearth, 
and you wonder at the extravagance of the praise that has been 
showered upon their performances. Watch Krippes and Stanis- 
lovsky in the third act of The Three Sisters, or Moskvin at the 
beginning of the second act of The Cherry Tree Garden, and you 
realise that you are in the presence of an art that is so supreme, so 
apart from the art of any other country or any other period, that 
you have no terms of comparison with which to estimate it. 

It is exactly in the measure of such ironic, pathetic, drifting, 
poetic drama as are these two plays by Chekhov that the natural 
genius of the Russian actor seems to lie. I am well aware that a 
short experience of Russia has made it impossible for me to have 
any sound knowledge of the Russian theatre, and I am speaking 
as the merest stranger at the gate nevertheless the constant 
reappearance in the Russian plays of a certain figure, and the 
invariable brilliance and sympathy with which that figure is 
portrayed when he does appear, presents him to me as the true 
type of the national Russian dramatic genius. He is not a 
figure of fantastic brilliance ; he has neither the liveliness nor the 
gay colouring of the creations of M. Bakst ; he does not dance to 
the music of Stravinsky, nor has he the superb spiritual splendour 
of Dmitry Karamazov or Stratov or Nicolas Stavrogin he is 
simply Epikhodov of The Cherry Tree Garden, Epikhodov as he 
is revealed to us by one of the greatest of Russia s artists, Mosk 
vin, Epikhodov the simple fool who is imprisoned by the 
tumultuous incoherence of his own thoughts, ambitions, desires, 
and disappointments. 


Any one who saw the performance in London by the Stage 
Society of The Cherry Tree Garden will remember the confused 


puzzle that Epikhodov seemed then to present. He was there 
nothing more than the knockabout figure of farce that even 
so admirably penetrating a critic as the late Mr. George Calderon 
apparently considered him. 

When he broke the billiard-cue, when he was insulted by the 
valet, when he drove the hammer on to his thumb instead of 
the nail for which it was intended, he was the real comic clown of 
the circus who tried the tricks of his companion and failed in them 
all. And that was simply the end of him ! . . . What he was 
doing in the household of an apparently sane woman like Madame 
Ranevsky was only one of the many hopeless puzzles with which 
the Stage Society presented us. Strange country Russia must 
be," you heard people murmur as they came away, a kind of 
terror in their eyes at the thought that at any moment in a Russian 
country house you might be at the mercy of a grinning, stammer 
ing madman. Poor Epikhodov ! Somewhere, behind those 
scenes that day, his ghost must have hovered sighing a little at 
the jingling, jaunting travesty of himself that had been presented 
to the London audience. Well," he perhaps consoled himself, 
c I have been always badly treated. I have always had the 
worst of luck. I can expect no other. It is my fate." 

As he says to Dunyasha in the play (I quote Mr. Calderon s 
translation), * Strictly speaking, without touching upon other 
matters, I must protest inter alia that destiny treats me with the 
utmost rigour, as a tempest might treat a small ship." 

It is quite impossible for me now to conceive of him except 
as portrayed by Moskvin. He has, of course, his other existences, 
and his soul is always his own, so that he wanders, free of his 
interpreter, free even of his great creator, in some Elysian fields, 
striking attitudes there, breaking into spasms of fine confusion, 
emerging from his struggles with destiny, dusty, dishevelled, 
but undefeated yes, he has his own independent existence, 
but it is Moskvin to whom he has whispered most of his 

Who that has seen it will ever forget that first entrance of 
Epikhodov with his nosegay, his squeaking boots, his short 
jacket, his staring, bulging eyes ? Here, at the very first, is a figure 
to make the groundlings laugh, but Moskvin in that first 


entrance raises the character to the dignity of tragedy. As he 
drops his nosegay, you catch in the startled glance that he flings 
at the supercilious maid-servant his desperate appeal that she will 
understand that he is not really such a fool as he looks. * Now," 
his eyes say, " isn t that just my luck ? I had taken real trouble 
with myself to-day. Cleaned myself, bought new boots, arranged 
everything in my favour, and a little thing like a bunch of flowers 
upsets me. I do want her to like me and to see me as I really am. 
... I wish I didn t care so much what people thought of me." 
You see at once that he is " finished," so far as the maid-servant 
is concerned. She may flirt with him for a moment so long as 
there is no one better, but she will only flirt that she may in the 
end laugh the more. His tragedy is the tragedy of Malvolio, 
but he has not the reassurance of Malvolio s dignity. He has 
some conceit of himself because he knows of the fine thoughts 
that there are in his head, but he is well aware of the sorry figure 
that he cuts. One cannot imagine Malvolio inquiring of Toby 
Belch the best grease for his creaking boots. Epikhodov in 
quires and is at once insulted. " Get out," says Lopakhin, the 
go-ahead merchant into whose hands the cherry tree garden is 
falling, " I m sick of you." 

Epikhodov shakes his head : Every day some misfortune 
happens to me ; but do I grumble ? No ; I am used to it. I 
can afford to smile." 

He plays, after all, the heroic part. Life is against him, but 
man is master of his fate and things must turn out well one day ; 
meanwhile he owes no one any grudge. 

The climax of his tragedy arrives during that fatal dance when 
the sale of the cherry trees is at last proclaimed. Moskvin shows 
you him at first hanging round corners, eyeing the dancers with 
envious glances, thinking that he will go forward and take his 
part, then shrinking back because of his consciousness of the 
prejudice that fate has against him ; then, the dazzling vision of 
Dunyasha the housemaid in front of him, he bursts forward only 
to be speechless when his opportunity is given to him. At last he 
stammers, "You are not pleased to see me, Avdotya Fedorovna, 
no more than if I were some sort of insect." Dunyasha, who is 
in love (or thinks that she is in love) with the Parisian valet, 


who is powdering her nose and who is, in general, a worthless, 
brainless, conceited doll of a girl, crushes him mercilessly. 

He falls back from her and the crisis of his life arrives. He 
is rejected by Dunyasha only to be delivered to the wrathful 
vengeance of Barbara, the practical daughter of the house. She is 
indignant with him for behaving as though he were one of the 
guests. " All you can do is to walk about from one place to 
another, without ever doing a stroke of work. . . ." 

The heavens break about him ; his attitude of brave toler 
ance towards an unrighteous, uncomprehending fate collapses. 
Dunyasha has rejected him for a stupid valet without an idea in 
his head. This woman reproaches him with "walking about." 
Walking about ! Good heavens ! Can t these people see the 
great thoughts with which he is struggling ? Can t they penetrate 
beyond his stupid boots, his short jacket, his clumsy manners, and 
see the " stuff of his soul " ? 

In a trembling fury of indignation he bursts out : ; Whether 
I work, or whether I walk, or whether I eat, or whether I play 
billiards, is a question to be decided only by my elders and people 
who understand " 

" People who understand" the whole tragedy of his 
existence lies in these words. He is in the wrong world. Per 
haps somewhere there is a place where he will be understood, a 
planet of esprits superieurs who do not judge only by external 

Meanwhile he is * a spirit imprisoned," and he is intensely 
lonely. In the last act we see him once more quiescent, trying 
to assist in the family s departure. He smashes in a hat-box, he 
breaks his nails with the hammer, he is once more insulted by the 
Parisian valet a man of " twenty-two misfortunes " but to the 
end he will maintain his independence. 


I have said that this figure of Epikhodov recurs continually in 
the Russian theatre. The last time that I encountered it was only 
a week or two ago. Beside my quarters in Petrograd is a tiny 
cinema theatre. Because we hang over the still waters of a side 


canal, where trade is sleepy, the proprietor of the cinema has 
to go out of his way to attract the great world. In the vestibule 
of his theatre there plays every night a ghastly discordant band, 
his windows are hung with flaming posters of cinematographic 
horrors, and in the intervals between the pictures he has music- 
hall turns the two dwarfs, the gentleman who sings society 
songs, the fat lady and her thin husband all this for a penny or 
twopence. The little room of the entertainment is stuffy and 
smelly ; about one is the noise of the cracking of sunflower seeds. 
Once and again the audience embraces the audience with loud, 
clapping kisses. During the musical-hall turns the door is open 
and you can see into the blue sunlight of the white night, the 
cobbled street, the green toy-like trees, the gleaming waters of 
the canal upon which lie the faintly coloured barges. 

Upon such an occasion I caught my last glimpse of Epikhodov. 
He came on to the narrow creaking stage, clothed in impossible 
evening dress, his eyes bulging as ever, his shoes creaking, his 
hair on end. He wished to recite to us verses of Balmont an 
impossible choice in such a place. He began with all the fervour 
of his appreciative soul ; he forgot his lines stopped gazed 
helplessly about him stammered began again once more 
broke down. 

The audience was kindly, not jeering and hostile as it would 
have been in England. It wished to assist him, waited patiently 
and even tenderly. With one more frantic struggle against an 
overmastering fate he abandoned his attempt and, to the relief 
of us all, retired. But before he vanished I caught a glimpse 
of his eyes Epikhodov s eyes they burned with the fire of a 
baffled, almost royal, impotence. 


BALLET. Drury Lane, 1914. 

IT is significant of Russia that out of a dead art, a mere gym 
nastic thing, the ballet system of blocked toes, she can create 
an art that is new and alive. New, for she has combined the old 
French technique and the savage perfection of the peasant dances 
with the charm and grace of the bare-footed dance into one 
individual whole. That it is a living whole, who can doubt that 
has with a seeing eye beheld the ballet of Petrushka ? 

Petrushka is the most truly Russian of all the ballets that 
we in England have been privileged to see, and it is certainly 
the most dramatic. The riot of the fair, the incantations of 
the magician, the sudden life of the dolls, the consequent 
panic in the crowd, followed by the tragedy of the dolls, 
endowed with human passion, striving to express themselves 
through, and in spite of, their wooden limitations, the im 
potence of the all-powerful magician to control the artist he has 
created, the strain of tragic irony running throughout the 
whole, make this ballet a unique and a universal experience. 

Not only is the ballet significant in its very creation, but 
it is the fusion of many arts. All are combined without 
any academic jealousies ; they are as unself-conscious as the 
nation that gave them birth. Music, drama, decorative art, all 
give freely of their best, and dancing is their leader in the ballet, 
as is music in the opera. Each art gives her service freely, and but 
enhances the beauty without in any way detracting from the main 
theme. The music of Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, or Ravel, 
the designs and settings of Bakst, the arrangements of Fokin, the 
dancing of Karsavina, all contribute to the significance of the 

4 o 




whole. With the opera it is the same the costume, the setting, 
and the ballet of Prince Igor are such as are worthy of the music. 

Not only is it the fusion of many arts, but it is full of possi 
bilities for the future. Its powers would seem to be, though fully 
developed, as yet but imperfectly exploited. So far only a few 
of the hundreds of possible creations have been presented on the 

The ballet, like Russia herself, is young. It has never been 
before ; it is intensely significant not only in the history of 
Russia, but in the history of art. Dancing has long been an 
art ; of old she stood among the Muses the tradition remained, 
but she herself was not. In Russia a light has dawned, and pos 
sibly in the near future Terpsichore may be a Muse again, 
for in Russia ballet-dancing is ruled by a living technique a 
strange contradiction in terms which is yet the body and soul of 
a true art. 

M. A. A. 



THE breeze has come at last. The day was long ; 
The bats are flitting in the airy dome ; 
And hark ! the reapers are returning home, 
I hear the burden of their quiet song. 

A voice intones ; the chorus make reply, 
Take up the burden and the chant prolong ; 
The music swells and soars into the sky 
And dies away intense, and clear, and strong. 

Now through the trees the stately shapes I see 

Of women with their instruments of toil, 

Calm in their sacerdotal majesty ; 

And backward, through the drifting mists of years, 

I see the Sacraments that blessed the soil, 

As old as the first drop of mortal tears. 











W "* 



: **"^7. / 

Fragment from the Folk-Song 7/4^ 5<?/?r w/V/i /^ Wooden Leg. 

Squeak, my leg ; my leg of linden wood, squeak. Throughout the village all is asleep, save for one woman. 
She watches. She will spin my wool. She will boil my flesh. She will dry my hide." 



All time is yours, O songs of Russia, 

Songs of good tidings, victory and peace, 

Songs of the city, of the field, the village ; 

Songs of rough days, and sorrows brought to birth, 

Baptized in blood and christened with our tears. 


FROM time immemorial Russia has resounded to the self-made 
songs of her people. In the oldest epics and folk-songs we find 
allusions to their love of music. The Bard Bayan, the Slavonic 
Taliesin, famous in legend, is typical of the higher minstrelsy 
of the tenth century, or even earlier. In a well-known picture, 
the painter Vasnetsov has recreated for us the personality of 
this Slavonic singer and seer. On the summit of a Kurgan, or 
burial-mound, he sits, a wild, inspired figure ; the wind that 
blows across the distant Dnieper is tossing his white hair and 
beard like the pale pampas grasses of the steppe ; his eye in a 
fine frenzy rolling," with one hand he strikes a chord upon his 
gusli^ while the other is raised in exhortation. He is typical of 
the spiritual fervour and the musical eloquence which still lives 
in the Russia of to-day ; just as the group of armed warriors 
who sit listening to him, with stern, rapt faces, are typical of those 
invincible, faithful sons of Holy Russia, whose sweeping advances 
and reluctant, fearless retreats are the admiration of all onlookers. 
Between Bayan, whose skilled fingers * strayed o er the living 
strings, so that they vibrated for ever with the praise of dauntless 
heroes," and that audacious guslyar, Sadko, whose wild harping 
made the Sea King delirious with glee, so that his wanton dances 
set all the ocean in tumult and caused the wreck of many a fine 

1 The horizontal harp of the Slavs, with seven or eight strings. 



vessel, there is a difference as great as that between Orpheus 
himself and some irresponsible piping rustic. Betwixt these two 
primitive makers of melody there is room for the whole tempera 
mental gamut of Russian music, from the grave and austere plain- 
song of the Eastern Church to folk-songs of the " Komarinskaya 
type ; from the classic dignity of Glinka s " Prince Kholmsky 
to the wild whimsies and wayward pathos of Stravinsky s 
" Petrushka." 

The primitive Russians had other musical instruments besides 
the gusli, to the accompaniment of which Bayan sang his proud, 
high strains. We read of the svirel, a reed-pipe or chalumet ; of 
a three-stringed fiddle called a gudok ; of the dudka^ or bagpipe ; 
and of drums, cymbals, and tambourines. There were also 
several classes of entertainers as early as the tenth century, the 
chief being the Skomorokhi-p&uets, or bard ; the Skomorokhi-gudets, 
who played for dancing ; and the Skomorokhi-plyasun, who 
danced, and was, in fact, a mummer or juggler. 

Do we know what manner of songs the primitive Russians 
sang in the tenth century ? They were, of course, unrecorded, 
and it is extremely difficult to fix the approximate antiquity of 
the folk-songs even by the help of the musical and textual 
evidence contained in them. Prince Vladimir of Kiev was 
baptized with his people in A.D. 988, and we know that the 
Greek monks who followed soon afterwards to proselytise among 
the southern Slavs introduced the architecture and painting of 
the Byzantine school, and that these arts, and the early written 
literature of the Russians, had an essentially religious character. 
Music, to some extent, must have stood outside the new order of 
things and defied ecclesiastical authority. The very sternness 
of the clerical denunciation proves that the newly converted 
Russians must have had a deep-rooted song-literature, of pagan 
origin, to which they were devotedly attached. Although the 
minstrels, the mummers, and the merry men," with their 
light-hearted rebellion against monkish authority, were scattered 
and driven before the advancing tide of Christendom, yet they 
lingered for centuries in the outposts of the vast empire. Thus 
secular song survived. With it seems also to have survived the 
dread of ban by book and bell," for when about the middle 


of last century an erudite collector of folk-music and folk- 
instruments heard that a player on the obsolete gudok still 
actually existed in the district of Olonets, he set out in quest of 
him ; but the musician, hearing that he was being pursued, 
disappeared into the wilder regions east of Ladoga, and was no 
more heard or seen. 

No one, I think, would venture to point to any particular 
folk-song as having belonged just as it stands to the pagan past 
of Russia. In being passed on orally from district to district, 
from individual to individual, words and music must have under 
gone such transmutations as to be almost unrecognisable, even 
if we knew their primitive forms. But in many songs the texts 
allude to customs dating back a thousand years or more, such as 
the Kolyadky, or Christmas songs, with their references to the 
solar deities Ovsen and Kolgada, and such refrains as Lada, 
oy Lada" Lada being a name for the Slavonic Venus. We 
have no hesitation in referring the words of some songs to the 
pre-Christian period, which means that they have survived a 
thousand years of wear and tear in the daily life of the people. 
On the musical side, the scales on which many of the melodies 
are based point to the antiquity of the music. Our tempered 
instruments are not in accord with Russian national melody, nor 
our system of major and minor scales. Melgunov considers that 
they are based on the so-called " natural " major and minor, both 
of which are constructed on the same formula : I, I, -J, i, i, i, -J-, 
taking the major scale in an ascending progression, from 
tonic to octave (^^ ^^J^V)* and the minor in a descending 
direction from dominant to its octave : t^l/x^JLA-XL/. 

i i i 1113 

There are a great number of folk-songs built upon the 
1 Chinese " or pentatonic scale (C, D, E, G, A), a scale which 
is of the essence of period rather than locality. Such melodies 
are among the oldest which have been handed down to us in 
Russia. The Cossack song at the close of this article is an example 
of a pentatonic tune. 

As regards rhythm, the folk-songs often suffer violence from 
the attempt to divide them according to our system of barring, 
because their natural division is probably hemistichal. There- 


fore division into definite bars which accord with our modern 
system necessitates capricious changes of measure and the use of 
such expedients as -f and -f- signatures. 

In spite of all the researches of modern times, there still 
exists some doubt as to whether the Russian people understand 
music as unison or polyphony. The balance of opinion, however, 
seems in favour of the latter view. Those who have heard them 
must be convinced that when the folk sing in chorus they make 
a kind of contrapuntal harmony, because individual singers join 
in with an accompaniment which is more or less consciously 
a variant of the original melody. The older songs, however, 
were no doubt handed down in a purely melodic form, and are 
not accompanied by chords in the sense of Western music. But 
we must be content to leave many technical questions regarding 
the folk-songs in abeyance. The veil of twilight romance behind 
which they were generated has been pierced and rent by the 
garish light and clangour of modern existence. Opportunities 
of hearing them in their authentic and primitive forms are 
growing rarer day by day, and investigation into the many 
theories put forward respecting their structure and method of 
transcription leaves the ordinary music-lover not much wiser 
than when he started. It is more interesting and profitable to take 
the Russian folk-songs as witness to the inner life of the people 
who created them and cherished them, rather than as subjects 
for musical analysis. They reflect the whole psychology of a 
race which has developed character under strenuous circum 
stances. They tell of the long struggle against a harsh climate, 
of bitter sufferings under the Tatar, and later under the German, 
yoke ; they are a frank revelation of national sins, and a touching 
testimony to national virtues, such as courage, patience, and 
unshakable loyalty to an ideal. The Russian peasant has made 
provision of song to fit every occasion in the procession of his 
days. His mind must have been a kind of vestiary of singing- 
robes which he took out at appropriate times and seasons. Some 
of the oldest are the Byliny or epic songs, which tell of the heroes 
of remote times. There are at least six cycles of these : the 
Songs of the Bogatyry or mythical heroes ; the cycle of Vladimir, 
the Red Sun, Prince of Kiev ; the Novgorod cycle, which 


5 1 

inclines to comedy ; the songs of the Moscow period, including 
the legends which gathered around the grim personality of Ivan 
the Terrible ; the later ballads and epics, dealing with Peter 
the Great ; and the songs of the Cossack races. Here is an example 
of an epic song, in which the personalities of two heroes seem to 
be combined. Volga, one of the oldest of the Eogatyry or 
warrior heroes of the Kiev cycle, is the embodiment of successful 
cunning, while Mikula personifies simple strength, and is a 
peasant hero. It is impossible to give the full words of the texts 
of these songs, as they would monopolise many pages of 
this book. 


Moderate ma non troppo 

-p^<m* = p : = P pi JE-^-f^F 1 g g ["""y" ^~ fr"T~~ 

Svi - a - to - slav liv d for nine - ty years, Svi - a - to - slav liv d long and then he died ! One dear 





son, a well be-lov d, he be - hind him left, Young Vol - ga, Svi - a - to - sla - vo - vkh. 

* 1- " *^\ 


^ - N I B> 


Young Vol-ga grew and wax d a man, To th attain-ment of great wis - dom his long-ings were. Like a 




53^^ -F r h s ^ J^ 

^ ^ N N ^~M ^ ^~ 

^ ; p ^ ( 1* 

^^" P-tr^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * 
pike thro a - zure wa - ters swim-ming, 

_L= a J J J__!_! 
he de-sir d to move, Like a 

fal-con he would soar be-neath the 

. 1 

5? - j: 

1 1 ! 

tj~ -i ^ 

S&Lk-tj^ 1 1 

^= r~v p 

\ I i 
-bga - ... ^j-^ b<ai 

I-S- H 

Vt 1 (V N 1 IS ^ 

F (* 

-HS l> , p - H 

heav n - ly clouds, 

i% -i 

Run like a wolf thro the 

poco meno mosso 

new - ly mown fields. 


rfe 1 

ba J J 

H ^r~* 

=3 ~j _j 


1 ] II 




/ 4 =** 

^3~ k j 

^^ 1- 

This melody and the one that follows are harmonised by the 
well-known composer Nicolas Andreievich Rimsky-Korsakov 
(1844-1908). He must not be confused with his son, A. 
Rimsky-Korsakov, whose interesting article on the folk-songs 
of Russia so ably supplements and completes my slight sketch 
of the subject. 

Among the later epic songs, those relating to the conquest 
of Siberia by Yermak (1582) and the subsequent fall of this 
brave but rebellious adventurer have lingered for centuries in 
the memory of the Don Cossacks, side by side with those which 
celebrate another Cossack hero, Stenka Razin. Strictly speak 
ing, such examples belong to the song-literature of Lesser 
Russia, and it is quite as necessary to distinguish between the 
text and melodies of the different races of Russia as between 
Welsh and Scottish folk-songs a fact too often overlooked by 
English musicians. 

There is another class of song with religious words, which 
were probably invented as compromises to conform with the 
requirements of the clergy. In these " spiritual (dukhavny) 
songs the music is also strongly modal. But there are many 
modal songs with texts, which are far from edifying. The 
example given below is a song of greeting used by the Kaleki 
Perekhojie, or wandering psalm-singers. 


(Sung by the wandering Psalm-singers) 


We poor beg - ging bro - thers, 

We should pray to God a 



^ r g=S S * r-g * -irifcjfc 

-*--*-_-S- T- -^- ->- 




f Christ have mer - cy and de - fend us 
Ask the Sa-v.our to be - friend us, | For He slakes our thirst and feeds us, 





from the wick - ed and their er - rors, from all false -hood, from death s ter - rors. 
Clothes us, fills our emp - ty wal - lets. Cares for these our sin - ful bod - ies. 

n% si- 

Fa - ther, Son, and Ho - ly Spir - it, Keep us for e - ver - more. 

= 1 ^ 1 ^^ 1 i fcr: 

There are also songs for the different seasons ; Khorovody 
or choral rounds ; dancing songs ; lyrics intended to be sung 
as solos ; Podblyudmya pesny songs of the dish which accom- 



pany a kind of fortune-telling, just as we look for " strangers 
in the form of tea-leaves, or hide thimbles and sixpences in 
the Christmas pudding ; there are songs meant to accompany 
games ; and those assigned to the custom of vocal congratulation 
and flattery, sometimes addressed to the Tsar, or other great 
people, and occasionally sung to ordinary mortals on their 
wedding or name-days. 

There are comparatively few soldier songs of great antiquity 
in Great Russia. The folk are an agricultural people and do not 
love war for war s sake. The regular army was not founded 
until Peter the Great s time, and the oldest military tunes used 
in the army, " Poltava " and the " March of the Preobrajensky 
Guards," date from early in the eighteenth century. The 
Cossack races are an exception to this rule, numbers of their 
songs containing allusions to their warlike proclivities. The 
Cossack song included here is a gay little tune, and deals with a 
tragi-comic episode of village life. 



33E3E: -1 --- 

-P |S -1=5 ^ 

p ^ H m P- H\ P ^ I 

A) | _j j_._ ^ ; * ^ 
J U u t* 

When I d tilled my lit - tie 

SB*-,, * * ? . * r_ * 

igf *$ j (cr K h i 1 

J w ~^~* -^ c P 

field, Wait - ed till the spring came 

by, Soon as 

s\rS ! JP A 
EZzLs iff 

+ 1 -=* -#=j^ -3 g^^rj. jiF /- j - 

-*- -^- *- -*- 

> U X ! 

I had sown my flax, To the bur - ied seed spoke 
J J ^ * *- -^ =( C - : 


~f n 


1 L__ji-_=t 

* I* * 

! 1* P 1 

-t H 

" Grow, and grow, my darling flax, 
Not too tall and white as wax ! " 
What was that some gossip said 
That my flax was crush d and dead? 

Quick, my cloak I snatched and flew 
To my field of flax so blue, 
To my darling flax so white, 
All a-tremble in my flight. 

Well I know who has been here ! 
Tis my sweetheart of last year 
Who has played this trick on me- 
Done it out of jealousy. 

Wait until his corn stands high, 
Till he comes to cut his rye ; 
Then he ll find it trampled flat 
I ll just give him tit for tat ! 


I believe it would be possible to find a song adapted to every 
mood and event in the Russian national life, but, alas, they 
mostly belong to the past. The diffusion of education and the 
slow dissemination of printed matter is making the Russian 
peasant independent of his treasury of remembered song. The 
war and the temperance movement are awakening in him an 
unappeasable appetite for knowledge ; his wits are now active 
and crave nourishment. May they be wholesomely fed ! May 
it be found possible to supply him with literature and music 
worthy to replace the old anonymous arts of his own creation ! 
May it be long before the suggestively vulgar music-hall song 
and the crude sensationalism of " the movies " become the chief 
recreations of the awakening population of rural Russia ! 


Editor of The Musical Contemporary (Musikalny Sovremennik) 


A SPECIAL feature of the literary and musical evenings of the 
season 1915-16 was the appearance of the peasant singer and 
narrator, Marie Krivopolenov, a native of northern Russia. Her 
little face, wrinkled and tanned to a cinnamon brown by the sun, 
her gums almost toothless, in spite of these unmistakable indica 
tions of extreme old age, she was bright-eyed, animated, and a 
lively mimic ; she had a clear enunciation, and an astounding 
memory. The old dame invariably held the attention and won 
the kindly smiles of her mixed audience. She sang old ditties ; 
Byliny (epic and narrative songs) ; songs of the Skomorokhi (mum 
mers) ; endless tales of the prowess of Russian warriors of old ; 
legends of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, and of other semi-mythical, 
semi-historical heroes of Russian epic poetry. Little by little 
she evoked for us a whole procession of vivid images wrought 
by the imagination of the folk. Those who were unacquainted 
with the methods of performance characteristic of the people 
were surprised to find that they do not declaim the Byliny and the 
old legends, but sing them. The old woman s melodies were 
not remarkable for great variety, or of special musical importance ; 
in this respect her songs were rather below the level of those of 
some other singers ; all the same, they were authentic examples 
of old melodies, though not so striking as many specimens to be 
found in the precious stores of poetry and music which still 
endure in the mind of the people. 

By what miracle have these fragile blossoms been preserved 
intact, despite the destructive and disastrous influences which 



follow in the train of civilisation ? Is it not strange to be listening 
to these old-time songs to the accompaniment of news from 
the front which is assiduously collected by the daily press ? 
Undoubtedly special conditions are necessary to keep these 
long-winded songs from becoming extinct, or transformed 
into the chastushktj- which are the result of turning the mass of 
the peasantry into a proletariat. 

" On the banks of the Pinega the river on which stands the native 
hamlet of the folk-song singer, where the forests that supply the ship 
yards are intersected by clearings fields surrounded by tall black 
posts, on the jutting arms of which hangs the golden barley a-drying 
rises the village with its wonderful church. The peasants with their 
large families dwell in high and roomy houses. Izbas containing 
five or six apartments are not uncommon, and there is always a guest 
room with town-made furniture and plenty of flowers in the windows. 
The owner of such a dwelling is not the village money-lender, but a 
simple, well-to-do working man. An inhabitant of the north, if he has 
good health, should be well off, for timber, and furs, and fish always 
bring in money, and out of his superfluous earnings he rejoices 
the heart of wire or daughter with an embroidered sarafan, a velvet 
povoiniky* or a band of brocade for her forehead. There the folk love 
and cling to the old costumes as well as to the old songs and the 
customs of time immemorial." 3 

Under such conditions the folk-songs keep their vitality 
and special charm for the peasantry, and are able to resist even 
powerful external influences. According to collectors who 
have had occasion to become closely acquainted with the singer s 
mental attitude, she is indifferent to the stirring events of the 
hour, and is not greatly interested by the presence of wounded 
soldiers in her village. On the other hand, when she saw Moscow 
for the first time she was strongly impressed, because it resembled 
the accounts of it given in the ByKny. She rejoiced to find that 
the old Russian capital was really " stone Moscow," and that the 
houses were of " quarried stone." 

We who are accustomed to look down from the height of our 
individualistic superiority upon the " primitive " folk-art, we 

1 "Couplets " a class of somewhat vulgarised town songs. 

2 A kind of head-dress. 
3 O. Ozarovsky, Our Grandmother s Days, 1916. 


who are proficient in every kind of lyrical subtlety, ought no 
longer to regard the songs of the people as the product of a 
poor and inferior culture. These are songs which beautify and 
gladden life, which enrich and strengthen it. That they are 
dying out is a sign of degeneration and of the deterioration of 
the people s taste. Life on the soil, which has ripened the bright 
and juicy fruits of the people s imagination, is infinitely richer and 
more beautiful than existence where the national art has been 
fatally poisoned. 

The history of Russian music, which flowered so luxuriantly 
during the nineteenth century, bears clear testimony to the great 
artistic value of the folk-songs. 

During the last century Russian music showed a tendency 
beginning with Glinka and reaching a climax, as we ourselves 
have seen, in the school of Rimsky-Korsakov to reflect, as in 
clear waters, the starry horizon of Russian folk-song. Chai- 
kovsky doubtless also great in artistic significance seems alone 
to have escaped from the curve of this tendency ; for with him 
we see the face of Russian song, with its silvery reflections and 
lights, broken under the stress of a tempestuous lyricism. With 
Skryabin also its reflection has vanished from the surface of the 

It was comparatively late when the mass of intelligent Russians 
began to show interest in the folk-songs. In the second half 
of the eighteenth century national melodies often barbarously 
improved upon by the addition of inappropriate accompani 
ments were found as rare guests among all kinds of couplets and 
ballads then in favour with the educated classes. 

The first collections of folk-songs only approximately reflect 
the genius of the people. Inaccurate transcription, in the form 
of the forcible application of our system of major and minor 
keys to the folk-tunes, alternated with German and Italian 
methods of harmonisation. No account was taken of the poly 
phonic development of the melodies, nor was there any just 
conception in those days of the all-capable melisma in which 
Russian song is so rich. Is it surprising that the songs arranged 
by these collectors sometimes resemble the everyday dance music 
of the period rather than genuine Russian folk-songs ? 


Many collections dating from the dilettante period of the 
thirties and forties of last century sin in exactly the same way. 
We find true folk-tunes placed side by side with pseudo-national 
town ditties without the least critical acumen or taste. It was 
only with the publication in 1866 of a collection of folk-songs 
made by the distinguished composer M. Balakirev that it became 
possible to speak of a new departure in the transcription of the 
songs, namely, by rules derived from the spirit of the music itself. 
Other collections followed upon Balakirev s during the second 
half of the nineteenth century. The names of several leading 
Russian composers Rimsky-Korsakov, Melgunov, Lyadov, 
and others were connected with this work. Besides this there 
was also the work of the Commission appointed to preserve the 
folk-songs. The collection of the folk-music demands much 
loving labour and attention, and is still far from being considered 
complete even at the present day. It is now, however, possible 
to arrive at some idea of the general features which have been 
observed in the art of the people, and to fix its salient character 
istics as shown in a whole series of peculiar melodic, harmonic, 
and rhythmic procedures. 

The melodies of the majority of the folk-songs are not built 
on chordal progressions, but on scales which differ essentially 
from our accepted major and minor scales. At their foundation 
lies the old tetrachord groupings of four notes distinguished 
from one another by the position of the semitone : e /, g, a ; or 

*/, e f, g ; or c, d, e f. A group of tetrachords, whether their 

movement be by addition or superimposition, gives a series of 
sounds typical of our Russian folk-songs. These series of sounds 
(tetrachords) date back to the period of the mediaeval theorists, 
who accepted them as the basis of the music of their time, and, 
having associated them with the Greek musical theory, called 
them the church modes : the Phrygian mode, E, F, G, A, B, C, 
D, E ; the ^Eolian, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A ; the Dorian, D, E, 
F, G, A, B, C, D, and so on. 

The melodies of the Russian folk-songs are decidedly more 
diatonic than chromatic. Wide intervals (leaps), augmented 
fifths, are comparatively rare. For their movement by degrees, 


preference is given to descending progressions. The melodies 
of the Russian songs show a passion for melisma delicate 
embellishments of the fundamental melodies which have no 
independent meaning, like eastern fiorituri, and often arise from 
the tendency to improvisation on the part of the executant. 

The construction of the scales most favoured by the Russian 
folk-songs is also reflected in the peculiarities of the cadences. 

The harmonic peculiarities of the songs are limited, both 
by the nature of their scales and by their organic tendency to 
polyphony. The parts approach unison, or octaves, only at the 
cadences. Around the principal theme are grouped more or 
less independent variants of it, in the form of so-called podgolosky 
(free contrapuntal parts). The movement of the parts makes 
the harmony, which for the most part is not full, certain notes 
of the harmony being omitted. Thirds occupy the most pro 
minent position, and dissonances, including sevenths, a second 
ary place. 

One of the most remarkable features of the folk-songs is their 
rhythmic forms, which, to this day, have never been studied 
with due attention and breadth of view. 

The rhythm and metre of the songs are distinguished by a 
complete lack of symmetry. Instead of strains constructed 
upon the recurrence, or symmetrical arrangement, of groups of 
2, 4, or 8 beats, we frequently meet with groups of 7 and 5, or 
alternating groups of various measures. The inner time structure 
is also very curious, such measures as -f-, ~ being by no means 
unusual. The flexibility and vivacity of the rhythmic lines may 
doubtless be attributed to the union of words and melody. You 
must take the song as it stands (words and all)," says a Russian 
proverb. In complete conformity with this principle we can 
trace in the songs the most inconceivable rhythmic variants of 
the fundamental melodies, which correspond in a subtle way 
with the metrical structure of the text. But notwithstanding 
this apparent rhythmic anarchy, the folk-songs preserve the 
lucidity and spontaneity of their general rhythmic formulas. 

All these peculiarities of the folk-songs form the technical 
basis of the wonderfully expressive and graphic powers in which 
they are so rich. Any attempt to set out the many-tinted psycho- 


logical design of the folk-songs in terse and general propositions 
would be foredoomed to failure. We can only judge of the wide 
reach of the national spirit as poured forth in the songs by looking 
at the extremely divergent aspects of their inspiration : on the 
one hand, the dreamy, melancholy, intuitively lyrical protyajntya 
(slow and sustained songs), or the tender cradle songs " ; on 
the other, the wild and unrestrained " dancing songs," or the 
defiant and audacious burlatsktya. 1 

Russian song ! Apart from this element any kind of vital 
fusion with the people seems unthinkable. Song has accom 
panied and in places where the old customs have not died out 
under the prosaic influences of a superficial civilisation, it still 
accompanies the Russian peasant from the cradle to the grave. 

In Russian songs, unspoilt by the incursions of town culture, 
an acute observer will find a true mirror of the national spirit, 
which is so inexpressibly rich in experiences, and gifted with 
a great power of triumphant artistry which can transmute them 
into actual being. 

The work of several generations of Russian composers shows 
traces of having been inspired by the folk-songs. The art of 
song furnishes, therefore, not only one of the most important keys 
to the character of the Russian people, but is also an essential 
factor in the true evaluation and understanding of the work 
of individual composers. From the time of Glinka, Russian 
musicians have profited freely by the use of folk-themes as 
melodic material for their operas, symphonies, and choral works. 
Attempts to transplant this indigenous Russian growth to the 
fertile soil of western music date back as far as Beethoven s time. 
But, here, a spiritual union with the folk-songs is all-important, 
and this can only be fully realised by a native artist who is closely 
linked with the soul of his own people. It is this that has made 
it possible for the Russian national composers to exploit and 
reproduce in their works the endless possibilities contained in 
the folk-songs. Is it not from the folk-music that so many 
peculiarities of harmony have originated, such as we find in 
the works of Glinka, Dargomijsky, Serov, Musorgsky, Borodin, 

1 This word has a double significance. Burlaky are the barge-haulers on the Volga, 
but the word is also applied to rough turbulent fellows boors. 


Rimsky-Korsakov, and others ? Do not the plasticity and beauty 
of their melodic inventions stand in close relationship to Russian 
folk-song ? And the rhythmic character of Russian music ? 
And the polyphony of their choral works, etc ? 

Ignorant critics often reproach the Russian composers 
making a ludicrous mistake with a lack of independence in 
their melodic invention. In reality the number of melodies 
they have actually borrowed (in their crude state) from the 
treasury of the folk-music is comparatively small ; and their 
methods of elaborating the national themes, or tunes conceived 
in the folk-spirit, lead far beyond the limits of such possibilities 
as are suggested by the folk-songs at first sight. Glinka was 
right when he spoke of Russian music as the history of the union 
of folk-song with western fugue in the bonds of lawful wedlock. 
The contrapuntal forms used by Russian composers beginning 
with simple imitation in the folk-style, and passing on to com 
plicated forms of fugue and counterpoint leave the primitive 
polyphony of the people far behind. 

Have we exhausted every method of making use of the 
folk-songs ? Does Russian music propose decisively to follow 
the path of individual lyricism in the footsteps of Chaikovsky 
and Skryabin ? 

There are some grounds for believing that Russian song has 
not yet exhausted its direct influence upon the art of music. 
Linked to the folk-songs and even at this moment bringing to 
the art a reanimating and purifying breath is the church music 
the plain-song. Mechanically exact notation of the plain- 
song 1 is apparently making it possible to look into the sphere of 
action of the laws of musical intonation which exist beyond the 
limits of temperament that is, the system which equalises the 
distance between the pure acoustic intervals. More detailed 
study of the rhythmic and metrical structure of the folk-songs 
will possibly reveal architectonic laws of sound hitherto unknown 
to us ; and such acquisitions will, of course, find an echo in the 
art of Russian music. 

In England the work of Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Chaikovsky, 
and a few other great representatives of Russian genius, has been 

1 The reference here is to recent gramophone records of folk-singing. (TRANS.) 





loved and appreciated. Has not the time come for the spiritual 
union of Britain with the folk-art of Russia which reveals the 
breadth and depth of the people s soul ? Is not a friendly and 
careful study of the creative work of the folk the truest way in 
which to arrive at that reciprocal penetration which should 
inspire all the external forms of union between two great 
nations ? Let me express myself allegorically : Is not this the 
moment for the old singing dame to join the members of 
parliament and the journalists and to visit the great country which 
stands at the head of European civilisation ? 


Translated by ROSA NEWMARCH. 



THE icon touches the very heart of Russian life. It occupies 
the place of honour in every living room the upper angle of 
the walls ; it hangs in every shop or tavern, at the corners of the 
streets, over gateways or in little roadside chapels, and everywhere 
receives its meed of reverence. To the Russian peasant the icon 
is the chief source of his religious instruction, and he follows 
every detail with real learning and enthusiasm, rejecting like a 
child any innovation on its old-established form. 

The icon is a panel picture of any dimensions from a few 
square inches to life size, painted in oil or tempera (oil painting 
does not become usual till the eighteenth century), generally on a 
gold ground, now covered in great measure by a gilt metal sheet 
leaving apertures for the face and hands, and containing any 
number of figures from one to thousands. The range of subjects 
includes all the saints of the Old and New Testament, the Apo 
crypha, and Greek and Russian hagiography ; but once a choice 
of subject is made, the artist is strictly limited in his treatment 
by the traditional requirements of its presentation. Sometimes 
these give a wide scope for details a lion with an old saint will 
indicate St. Jerome, for example, but on the other hand some 
saints can only be distinguished by the height of the opening in 
their robes. Most icons are now painted in the governments of 
Vladimir or Kursk. 

Russia received the cult of the icon with its Christianity from 
Byzantium at the end of the tenth century, and the icon has ever 
remained Byzantine in all the essentials of its art, though pro- 

6 4 


foundly modified by the Russian temperament. The icon stands 
almost alone in the history of painting : subject is its first essential 
and its main interest, and the joy of the craftsman in his work is 
refined from the sensuous to the religious in art. The greatest 
icon-painters have indeed always been monks, and their painting 
has been a religious exercise, entered on in a spirit of prayer and 
fasting ; and though now icons are made as a trade, popular 
opinion demands of the iconopisets a more rigid standard of life 
than that to which his fellows are bound. 

Abundant as are the materials for it, the serious study of the 
icon is in its infancy, and its influence upon Russian art is almost 
negligible. Most of the really ancient and celebrated icons can 
hardly be seen owing to the way in which they are adorned 
with haloes and collars of gold and jewels (barmy) , to which in 
the middle of the eighteenth century was added a plate of metal 
(the riza) following the contours of the figure and the costume, 
and provided with openings through which the face and hands 
were allowed to show. Study under these circumstances was 
almost impossible, and an appearance of remote antiquity might 
be assumed by comparatively modern work. But during the 
last few years a great revival of interest in the icon has taken 
place, and many old paintings have been brought to light. The 
toleration granted to the Old Believers has been one of the prin 
cipal elements in this revival, for among them many ancient icons 
had been covered up with a modern subject in order to prevent 
them from destruction as irregular by the Orthodox, and these 
surface paintings have now in many cases been removed. Their 
new cathedral in Moscow has a great many of these, but they are 
outshone by the wonderful collection, ranging in date from the 
tenth to the sixteenth centuries, and covering the whole field 
of Russian iconography, which has been assembled in the 
Alexander III. Museum at Petrograd, a collection that every 
student of the history of European painting must in future include 
in his pilgrimages, which may well supply the basis for the develop 
ment of a new movement in art. It will revolutionise accepted 
ideas on the history of early painting, and what has further to be 
said about icons must be taken under this reserve. 

Icon-painting seems to derive from the portraiture of Egypt, 


known to us by the portraits of the Fayum. The oldest icons 
in Russia are two now in the Ecclesiastical Academy of Kiev, 
which were brought by Bishop Porphyry Uspensky from Sinai ; 
they date from the sixth century, and are painted in encaustic on 
cloth. The ravages of the iconoclasts in the eighth and ninth 
centuries have left us few traces of the Byzantine painting of 
this period, but the renaissance of the ninth and tenth centuries 
is much better represented. The conversion of Vladimir (989) 
opened up Russia to the religious art of Byzantium through the 
medium of the Chersonesus, and artists were brought from 
thence to decorate the first Christian cathedral at Kiev by that 
monarch. The name given to early Russian art Korsunsky is 
commonly explained as derived from them. In due time a school 
of icon-painting arose at Kiev, of which very little is accurately 
known. The copy of the Vladimir Virgin * in the Cathedral of 
Rostov is said to have been painted by Alimpi, one of this school ; 
another name preserved is that of Gregory. The cult of the 
icon must have been widely established by the end of the eleventh 
century, for the Metropolitan John II. (1080-89) ordered that 
all ancient icons should be restored. With the decay of Kiev, 
Vladimir and Suzdal came into importance, and it is not unlikely 
that some distinctive characteristics of these schools may yet be 
brought to light. 

Novgorod, the northern rival of Kiev, expanded from a 
little free city to a large empire reaching from the Baltic to the 
Volga and northward to the Arctic Ocean. As it grew in wealth 
and influence an independent art grew up with it, characterised 
by severity of line and simplicity of style. Its icons are painted 
in tempera, the faces and hands white, now turned yellow by age, 
the dress in two colours, the ground a greyish white. The names 
of several artists of this school during the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries are known, though much of their surviving work is 
anonymous. The school decays with the end of the seventeenth 

The Tatar invasion destroyed much of the growing civilisa 
tion of Russia the architecture of Vladimir, and the painting 
of Suzdal, Vladimir, and Kiev and hindered the development 

1 See pp. 10, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, and illustration. 


of Novgorod ; but as the successive waves of invasion fell back, 
and Moscow emerged as the principal centre of Russian life, a 
new school of icon-painting came to be recognised. It is marked 
by a certain gracious gravity, in which perhaps the individual is 
sunk in the typical, while the whole is beautiful and harmonious. 
Later on the work of the school becomes more studied, though 
luminous and distinct. Influenced perhaps by Italian painters, 
the icons were crowded by small figures, or broken up into many 
compartments, each telling some adventure of the hero-saint. 
Closely allied with the Moscow school is that of the Strogonov 
family, which from the sixteenth century devoted itself to church 
building and decoration. The Strogonov school, if school it is, 
is much more formal : the features are long and thin, the skin is 
dark green, the colouring clear. The most famous icon-painter 
of the Moscow school was Andrei Rublev, who died about 1430, 
the Fra Angelico of Russian art, and, like him, beatified. A 
Virgin by him is in the Troitsa Lavra, and another, of which a 
part is certainly from his hand, is in the Petrograd collection. 
The great Moscow painter of the seventeenth century is Simon 
Ushakov, who died in 1686. 

As has been already remarked, the icon shows a steady progress 
towards complexity : the early ones are simple, nearly always 
single figures, devoid of complicated backgrounds. As time 
passes and the legend grows the action becomes more complicated, 
the background fills, and minor incidents take a place in the 
scheme. The series of icons of St. George or of St. Nicolas, for 
example, in the Petrograd collection are admirable examples of 
this tendency. 

The favourite icons in Russia are those of the Virgin, of 
our Lord, or of Elias, Abraham and the three Angels, St. Nicolas, 
St. George, patron of the army and of Moscow, St. Dmitry, 
Saints Boris and Gleb, or of the sainted patriarchs of the Russian 
Church, though every trade and occupation has its patron saint 
St. Panteleimon, for example, who is the patron of doctors because 
he healed all comers at any time without fee or reward. A certain 
number of celebrated icons are miracle-working, such as the 
Vladimir Virgin in the Uspensky Cathedral at Moscow, and 
copies of these are held in especial devotion. There are many 


other chudotvorny or wonder-working pictures, perhaps the 
most famous being the Iberian Virgin housed in a chapel at the 
gate of the inner city of Moscow, copies of which are known by 
the bleeding scar on the right cheek, caused by a Tatar. This 
picture is taken, from time to time, drawn in a carriage with six 
horses, to the sick-bed of wealthy Moscovites, and its chapel is 
always rilled with a reverent crowd. 

The icons of the Virgin are classified in several ways. Schlum- 
berger gives a list of sixteen names of the Byzantine poses some 
of them still in use, as the Hodegetria, in which the Virgin, 
holding her right hand to her breast, supports the Child sitting 
upright on her left arm. The Infant has its right hand out 
stretched in benediction, while its left holds a book or scroll. 
The more common way of naming the icons is from their place 
of origin. The Vladimir Virgin holds her Child on the right 
hand, cheek to cheek, her left hand touches the arm of the Child, 
whose right arm is stretched out. The Smolensk Virgin, tradi 
tionally painted, like the Vladimir Virgin, by Saint Luke, is first 
mentioned in 1046, and it, with the Murom Virgin of the be 
ginning of the twelfth century, are of the Hodegetria type. The 
Kazan Virgin, found in Kazan in 1579, moved to Moscow in 
1612, and to the Kazan Cathedral at Petrograd in 1710, is a 
variant of this type. The head of the Virgin is inclined to the 
right, the Child is upright on her left arm, His right hand and 
arm half raised in benediction. Other variants are the Strastnaya 
or Virgin of the Passion, where two Angels are seen bearing the 
instruments of the Passion, the Mlekopitatelnitsa where the 
Mother feeds her Child, and the Umileniya or affectionate. 
Some famous icons of this type are the Igor Virgin of the twelfth 
century and the Kostroma Virgin, first mentioned in 1239. The 
Novgorod Virgin (1069) and the Kursk (1295) are of the 
Blachernilissa type. 

Even in war these icons play their part. The Smolensk 
Virgin was taken to the headquarters of the Russian Army before 
the battle of Borodino, and only this year the Vladimir Virgin 
was brought to the Imperial field headquarters before the great 
movement began. The last time it left Moscow was in 1 8 1 2, to 
return to Vladimir during the French invasion. 



The icon of the Archbishop Alexis, 1 which is reproduced from 
one in the Tretyakov Museum at Moscow, was painted in the 
seventeenth century by an artist of northern education. Alexis 
was Metropolitan of Kiev and died in 1378 : he is one of the 
patron saints of Lithuania. 


1 See p. 72 and illustration. 





THIS description is strictly limited to a transcription and inter 
pretation of the inscriptions on the various parts of the two sacred 
pictures, 1 with which Mr. Steele has already dealt in the preceding 
article. 2 As to the Vladimir Madonna, one may quote the follow 
ing historical data from the Antiquities of the Russian Empire, 
published by a special committee in 1 849 and after. 

The Vladimir Madonna is said to be the original portrait of 
the Blessed Virgin by the evangelist Saint Luke, and so the 
parent of the Guilds of St. Luke in Italy and of the Italian school 
of painting of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 

It came from Constantinople to Kiev, the metropolis of the 
Russian Church. In 1154 it was brought thence to Vladimir on 
the Klyazma by Prince Andrew, surnamed Bogolyubsky, Tradi 
tion says he added much gold and silver and precious stones to 
its decoration. It got the name of Vladimirskaya from its long 
stay here, for it was only on August 26, 1395, that Basil, son of 
Demetrius, brought it to Moscow. It was taken out with the 
army against Achmet in 1480 (June), and the two days are 
celebrated with solemn processions of a commemorative character. 
In 1 8 1 2 it was taken to Vladimir again for safe keeping, returning 
to Moscow after the retreat of the Grand Army. 

The Metropolitan Afanasy renewed the picture, i.e. 

1 The Vladimir Madonna and the following picture, the St. Alexis. 

2 See pp. 64-69. 



decoration, presumably, in 1566, and there is further evidence 
of renewal in 1627. 

Above the crown of the main figure are two pictures partly 
covered by jewellery. The one on the left-hand side of the 
picture (to the reader s left) has an inscription reading Ristvo 
Khvo., i.e. Rojdestvo Khristovo, the Nativity. 

The uninscribed picture to the right is an Adoration, I think. 

Each side the head of the Madonna are short inscriptions, 
reading left and right respectively, M.R. Th.u., i.e. Mary, 
Mother of God. Underneath the M.R. are the initials I.S. 
Kh.S., i.e. Jesus Christ. As usual these are in Greek, not Slavonic. 

The decoration round the Child s head has what appear to 
be the letters O.O.N., the second being the Greek Omega. 1 One 
would have expected A.O.N. Alpha and Omega. 

The edge of the frame has a series of little panels with pictures, 
whose inscriptions I give below, with a rough indication of the 
subject of the picture, if necessary. I begin with the top left- 
hand side and proceed downwards and up to the top right-hand 

1. Blagoveschenie, i.e. The Annunciation. 

2. TJcheneme sty Gdn., i.e. uchinenie svyaty Gospodne. This 
is not clearly written, and appears to mean : The Lord s teaching 
of the Saints. 

3. V-znesenie Gne., i.e. Gospodne ^ The Lord s Ascension. 

4. Raspyatie Gne., i.e. The Crucifixion. 

5. Shestvie Stgo Dkh., i.e. Svyafago Dukha, Coming of the 
Holy Ghost, Pentecost. 

6. Preobrajenie Gne., i.e. The Transfiguration. The form 
of the first three letters is almost unrecognizable. 

7. This very badly damaged inscription appears to corre 
spond with the word for meeting, and it seems to be the meeting 
with the Apostles after the first Easter Day, according to the 

8. Vkho leralm., i.e. Vkhod Ierusalim(a, -sky). Entry into 
Jerusalem (Palm Sunday). 

9. Lazorevo Kiki. This is the Raising of Lazarus, though 
the second word is not really readable properly. 

1 It appears now rather to be o &v, The Existing, an inscription found in other icons. 


10. Vgoshklenie Gne. This is apparently a miswriting of 
Bogoyavlewe, the Declaration at the Baptism in Jordan : This 
is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 


of the British Museum Library. 
July 12, 1916. 


The St. Alexis from the Tretyakov Collection, Moscow. 

The saint faces left, standing on the right side of the picture, 
holding a book in his left hand. The inscriptions are : 

Left, over the small figures at the top left-hand side : Aggli 
Gdni Is Khs Aggli Gdni, all with contraction signs, i.e. The 
Angels of the Lord, twice, and, between, the sacred monograms 
for Jesus Christ. 

To right above the main figure ornamentally interlaced and 
of various sizes : Stuy Alexy Mitropolit Mosk. Chudotvorets : 
i.e. Saint Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, Miracle-worker. 

Note the Greek spelling of the word for angels. 


of the British Museum Library. 
July 12, 1916. 



This icon is exhibited, under normal conditions, among the 
Early Christian and Byzantine Antiquities in the Department of 
British and Mediaeval Antiquities at the British Museum. 

It is a specimen of the same type of cross described by Mr. 
O. M. Dalton in the Guide to the Early Christian and Byzantine 
Antiquities in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities 
(1903), and figured at p. 106 as Plate XV. in the same. After 
making my own effort to grasp the manifold details of this most 

ULX >*"* 




remarkable cross, I checked the details common to Mr. Dalton s 
specimen, which, however, is superior in clearness of casting 
and therefore of lettering. 

Whereas the cross above mentioned is merely a cross on a 
Golgotha, this other now described has a flight of cherubs curved 
round the top, and above the figure of the Almighty common 
to both crosses, a plaque of subject similar to those in the Vladimir 
Madonna, 1 and six others at intervals round the extremities of 
the cross. For simplicity s sake I adopt the same procedure 
and describe the outer panels in the same order as there, viz. 
from the top down the side to the reader s left and up on his 
right. The reproduction will give a fairly adequate idea of the 
pictorial element with its single coloured (blue) enamel. Number 
one, at the top, is Vkrnie Khrvo, i.e. Voskresenie Khristovo, the 
Resurrection of Christ, Easter Day. 

Number two, Vkho. Vtem.^ i.e. Vkhod v Icrusalim, the Entry 
into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday. 

Number three, Ochische Gdne.^ i.e. Ochischenie Gospodne, an 
unofficial description of the Feast of the Purification (February 
2), known in the Church calendar as Sretenie Gospoda Nashega 
lisusa Khrista, or Sretenie Gospodne. The ch is made almost 
like a k. 

Number four is a representation of two saints with their 
names, preceded by Svyataya, Saint, in each case. The second 
of the two is the familiar Mr. Th. U., i.e. the Blessed Virgin, 
the other is less obvious. It seems to be P[V] lagiya, i.e. Pelagia, 
the Martyr. 

Number five is a similar case of two saints, with the masculine 
for saint, svyaty., above each name. They are loan and Login, 
i.e. St. John the Divine and Longinus, the Centurion of the 
Crucifixion. Their position at the foot of the Cross opposite 
to the Blessed Virgin is appropriate, but I do not see why St. 
Pelagia is here, unless it be because her day is May 4, and one 
Holy Cross Day is May 7. 

Number six is rather blurred, but I think I can read (po)sled- 
naya ve (chera\ i.e. Last Supper. This is certainly what is 

1 See pp. 10, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, and illustration. 


Number seven, and last of this outer series, shows : Svit. 
Gdne., i.e. Svidetetstvovanie Gospodne, the Lord s Testimony, i.e. 
the declaration at the Baptism in Jordan : Thou art My beloved 
Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

In the cross proper I will start from the same point and work 
round in the same direction generally, referring the reader for 
fuller explanations to Mr. Dalton s description, to which I have 
already referred. 

Under number one, then, is a figure representing the Almighty 
Father, with the words Gd Sbaoth, i.e. Gospod Sabaoth, Lord of 
Hosts. Below this is the Dove of the Holy Ghost, and over 
this Dkh / ., i.e. Dukh Svyaty, Holy Ghost, with cherubs on 
each side. Below this is the " title " of the cross. 

Below the main crossbeam of the cross and upon the upright 
beam is the Greek watchword, NIKA, conquer, divided by the 
body of the Lord. 

The foot of the cross is set, below the diagonal crossbeam, 
in the hill Golgotha, which shows the skull of Adam, the initials 
for which appear above it, viz. G.A. (Glava Adama\ while the 
initials for Golgotha, G.G., are set each side of the skull. Above 
G.A. is R.B., under M.L., as in the other example, and with the 
same meaning. The grouping differs. 

The " title " bears the letters INT si., i.e. Jesus of Nazareth, 
Tsar of Israel. Slightly above and to right and left of this are 
the letters Tsr Sfoy, with the usual contraction marks, meaning 
Tsar Slavy, King of Glory. Above these words are two others, 
which I could not read in this case ; the other cross has the words 
Angely Gospodni, Angels of the Lord, in this place. 

As to the crossbeam of the cross, here, as in the other cross, 
are two long inscriptions above and below the arms, and the 
sacred monograms at the ends of what is really rather a framework 
round the cross proper. Thus at the ends we have Is. Khs., i.e. 
Jesus Christ, and the following are the inscriptions. Above, in 
rather badly cut lines, Raspyatie Gdne ije i Spsa nashego 
zryaschi perechistaya. There is some uncertainty as to the 
reading after the first word, and in any case, in this instance as 
in the much clearer impression of the other cross, the words 
of the ode, from the Octoechus, being no longer addressed to 


Our Lord, have an expansion from the mere adjective tvoe, 
to a fuller form. Expanding the contractions, the words run : 
Raspyatie Gospodne ije i Spasa (or perhaps spasitele) nashego 
zryaschi perechistaya, that is, Seeing (looking upon) the cruci 
fixion of Our Lord and also Our Saviour, cleansing, etc. The 
phrase ije i is equivalent to the Latin qut et. 

The lower line runs : Krest(u) tvoeyu poklanyayu^ vnkh spnyu 
vopiyu i tvoe s/avim, i.e. Krestu tvoeyu poklanyayu, vernuikh 
spaseniyu, vopiyu i (mya) tvoe slavim, which is altered from the 
words of the Mineya for August i. It means: I worship 
Thy Cross, the salvation of believers, I call upon Thy name, I 
glorify it. 

On the back is very scratchily inscribed the following variant 
of what appears on the back of the other cross, also from the 
Mineya (Menaea). 

Krta Khranitel vsei vselennei (k)rt krasota tsrkevnaya krt 
\ts\ arekh derjava, krt verny (kh)utverjdne krt angglom [s/]ava 
krt besom yazba, i.e. Cross, preserver of all the world ; cross, the 
beauty of the church ; cross, the power of Tsars ; cross, the con 
firmation of the faithful ; cross, to angels glory ; cross, to devils a 
plague. 1 

The other cross was assigned by Mr. Dalton to the eighteenth 
century, and I should incline to put this one early in the nine 


of the British Museum Library. 
July 29-31, 1916. 

1 The nimbus has a modification of the Greek words 6 wv, The Existing, on it. 


No woman s name appears in the annals of art until the eighteenth 
century, and but seldom even after that date down to the present 
day. Vigee le Brun, that graceful portrait-painter of seductive 
coquetry and of motherhood, Rosa Bonheur, those followers of 
the Impressionist School, Miss Cassat and Berthe Morisot, Maria 
Bashkirtsev, who died so prematurely, that powerful Russian 
woman-sculptor Golubkina, a few others less talented, and the 
list is complete. 

True, that which women have bequeathed to Humanity s 
Treasury of Art is incomparably more than might be supposed 
from this meagre list. It is they who have been the unseen, 
the unknown collaborators of art. It is they who made the lace, 
embroidered the materials, wove the carpets. They raised the 
artistic level of life by their aesthetic aspirations. That in these 
our days of men s dark and uniform dress women have hitherto 
retained the beauty of their clothing is not without significance. 
But for the blossoming of the living and tender flower of in 
dividual inspiration favourable circumstances were required the 
fresh air of freedom and scope for the development of personal 
initiative. These were almost entirely denied to women. 

Natalie Goncharova is one of the few women artists who, 
owing to her rich individuality and to persistent hard work, 
have attained to an independent spirit. 

She was born in 1881 ; her father, an architect, belongs 
to an old family, whose ancestor, in the time of Peter the Great, 
was one of the founders of the first business establishments in 
Russia. Her great-aunt on her father s side was the wife of one 


, If. Uorvfc/W 




of Russia s greatest poets, Pushkin. Her mother comes of an 
old and distinguished family of ecclesiastics, the Bieliaevs. Until 
Natalie was eleven years old she lived entirely in the country, 
and has always retained a love of nature and an aversion to crowds. 
From her earliest childhood she was fond of drawing, but only 
later discovered her artistic vocation. When her school-days 
were over she studied history, and even medicine, but having 
seen which way her path lay she entered the School of Painting 
and Sculpture at Moscow. There she achieved a brilliant success 
in her sculpture classes under Prince Paul Trubetskoi, received 
a medal, and after three years study left the school. At the school 
she had made the acquaintance of the painter Michael Larionov, 
who greatly influenced her further artistic development. 

Between the years 1900 and 1912 Natalie Goncharova pro 
duced a great number of sculptures, pictures, and illustrations. She 
is richly gifted with creative genius, as versatile and as productive 
as that of the greatest artists. She has trodden the long road of 
pupil and seeker. But even as a pupil the real artist is original ; 
his attempts are often successful and always interesting. Gon 
charova absorbed many and various artistic impressions ; but 
she was exacting, definite, and anatomic in her tastes. She only 
learnt, she was only receptive to that which satisfied the require 
ments and questionings of her nature. Russian icons, Byzantine 
mosaics, the old Russian pictures and wooden images of Christ, 
Breughel the elder, El Greco, the Barbizon School, Cezanne, 
Gauguin, Henri Rousseau and Picasse all influenced her ; she 
worked in many styles, even cubism, futurism, and rayonism, 
as affected by Larionov. Everything she produced during these 
years was done in all seriousness. At times it was somewhat 
naive ; but her work ever betrayed a great sense of form and 
harmony of colouring. She possesses, however, a quality which 
is quite innate and completely original, a kind of organic and 
unusually happy blending of a religious sense of faith in Christ, 
and an almost pagan joy in the brightness and sunshine of life. 
As one looks at her pictures one is struck at once by her faith in 
God and by her almost child-like uncontrolled delight. 

I will not dwell in detail on her pictures ; they are little 
known to the English public. Moreover, to discuss them 


would involve raising all those much disputed questions of 
contemporary art which could not be adequately treated within 
the limits of this article. 

In the last few years Natalie Goncharova has taken to working 
in a sphere new to her. The results of this work are better 
known in the West, for I refer to her scenic painting. 

Until the present day the arts of the drama and of painting 
were almost entirely unconnected. Scenery for the theatre 
used to be painted, not by artists, but, in most cases, by theatre 
decorators. This state of affairs only lately underwent a change, 
when the most successful experiments in combining theatre 
scenery and painting were achieved by Dyagilev in his opera 
and ballet mise en scene. All those who are interested in art are 
acquainted with his work, as also with the artistic achievements 
of Bakst, Benois, Golovin, Roerich, and others. The immense 
possibilities of this form of art attracted Natalie Goncharova. 
According to her own account, it was Michael Larionov who 
first divined her talent as an artist-decorator, and advised her to 
employ her energy in that direction. 

Like other great phenomena in art, her theatrical inspiration, 
notwithstanding its novelty, is derived from tradition. Its 
roots lie deep buried in the soil of Russia s national culture. It 
was not in vain that she was brought up in a family which had its 
own traditions, and that she spent her childhood in the country. 
And not only the Russian country, but the atmosphere of the 
Russian peasant s imagination made a great impression on her 
from her earliest years. In the Government of Tula, where 
she was born and where she lived, the women kept to their old 
and brilliantly coloured costumes, to the old materials, em 
broidery, and ornaments, and there also the Russian songs and 
legends of long ago are to be heard. Natalie Goncharova came 
into an artistic inheritance. To equip the artist with such un 
erring boldness of eye and hand required many generations of 
arduous labour, ant-like work, ample taste and means. It is as if 
the decorative sense of millions of her unknown sisters, purified 
and transformed in the furnace of her individual creative genius, 
had found expression therein. 

It was well for the drama that Goncharova was attracted to 


this form of painting. Without attempting to estimate achieve 
ments of contemporary art, one must, nevertheless, recognise 
the value of its problems and its aims. The theatre, owing to 
its specific requirements, exerted a moderating influence and did 
not allow unlimited freedom of action ; consequently, Natalie 
Goncharova in her scenic decorations remains a present-day 
artist, and her work charms even those who would turn away 
from her cubic or futurist pictures. In all her mise en scene we 
find studied synthesis and simplicity, as well as individuality. 
Her colouring is brilliant and full-toned, her lines simple and 

Her first theatrical successes were The Fan, Goldoni s comedy, 
and Zobendas Marriage^ by Hofmansthal, which were given at 
Moscow. Venice of the eighteenth century and all the fascina 
tion of the East were revived on the stage. But, together with 
a careful study of old miniatures and costumes, they presented 
the result of inspired fantasy and synthesis. When a certain 
well-known art critic saw one single costume for The Fan he was 
indignant, and exclaimed, ; This cannot be, it is an anachron 
ism ! But when he saw the whole thing together on the stage, 
with costumes and decoration, he changed his opinion. The 
spirit of ancient Venice came to life before his eyes, and he 
realised that any mistakes or anachronisms were intentional, and 
that they were advantageous to the scene as a whole. It is just 
the same in The Coq a 1 Or and Sadko. 

In The Coq d Or all Natalie Goncharova s brilliant imagination, 
inspired by legendary lore, revealed itself. The spectators, 
like children listening to a fairy tale, forget reality, and are trans 
ported to another land, where grow strange trees, where blossom 
strange flowers, where glitter dazzling costumes. One s heart 
beats fast, one catches one s breath, one is seized by some strong 
gust of free inspiration, for it is the effect of true art, raising and 
setting one free. They who have seen The Coq can never forget 
her original humour, the uniforms of Tsar Dadok s army, nor 
his wooden horse, which he had to mount by means of a ladder. 
And just the same brilliant imagination reveals itself in Sadko, 
where the spectator is charmed by the submarine kingdom of 
Tsmielo, set off by subaquatic costumes and features and all the 


colouring as if it were reflected in the water. Moreover, Gon- 
charova displays a very subtle understanding of the stage and its 
effects. She knows how to adapt red costumes to the lighting, 
she cannot conceive costumes without motion, she sees them 
whirling in a dance ; she bears details in mind as well as the 

Natalie Goncharova is still at the beginning of her work, 
which promises many new developments. 






O BROTHER, take my hand across the grave, 
Because of all the gifts you left to me ; 
The balm, the tears, the fragrant charity, 
That heal the sore, and make the fearful brave. 

You saw beyond the mortal veil of flesh, 
You comforted the soul upon the rack ; 
The citadel that brutal passions sack, 
The bird made captive in a deadly mesh. 

You fell into the uttermost abyss, 
And there, amidst the ashes and the dust, 
You spoke no word of anger or of pride ; 
You found the print of steps divine to kiss, 
You looked right upwards to the stars, you cried 
Hosanna to the Lord, for He is just." 




THE glory of Russian literature used to be dimmed for English 
men by a veil of bad translation. Terrible English translations 
of Russian masterpieces exist to this day rivalling in turpitude 
the French translations of Dickens but of late years honest, 
courageous, and capable translators have begun to appear ; at 
any rate one has appeared, and the glory is seen more brightly. 
I employ the words honest and courageous of the new 
school of translators, because so many of the old gang, whatever 
their equipment, had the cowardly habit of shirking difficulties 
and the dishonest habit of concealing that any difficulties had 
been shirked. However, my first recollections of Russian 
literature are not embittered by the sins of translators. The 
first Russian author I remember reading was Dostoevsky, about 
a quarter of a century ago. A series of Dostoevsky stories, 
mostly minor stories, was published in imperfectly bound greenish 
volumes at that period by, I think, Bickers of Leicester Square. 
There were, among others, The Friend of the Family, Unc/e s 
Dream, and The Gambler. I cannot recall that the translations 
as such made any impression on me whatever ; they certainly 
did not annoy me. As for the stories themselves, they did not 
make much impression on me either, but I can remember that 
Dostoevsky seemed to me to be chiefly remarkable for mild 
humour. That he was a novelist of the first rank assuredly did 
not occur to me. At one time, later, I wondered how in the 
first stage it could have seemed to me that Dostoevsky was 
chiefly remarkable for mild humour. But now that my acquaint 
ance with his works is more complete, I have to admit that 


the first impression was not utterly wrong. Dostoevsky is 
often mildly (if very subtly) humorous. His Journal of an 
Author, for example, not yet translated into ^ English, is 
often most determinedly humorous in style, and in such tales 
as the man who was accidentally swallowed by a crocodile 
(also not yet translated) he becomes positively farcical. . . . 
I dropped Dostoevsky, and thought no more of him for 
many years. 

Of course I read Tolstoi, in the translations of the epoch. 
I raved fashionably about Anna Karenina and The Death of 
Ivan Ilyitch, but I could not embark upon War and Peace, 
it was too formidably long. When, after a considerable interval, 
I re-read Anna Karenina and Ivan Ilyitch, in the excellent 
translations of Mrs. Constance Garnett, I was forced to modify 
my ancient enthusiasm for Anna Karenina. I had always 
deemed it vitiated by an excessively faulty construction ; and 
now I found it hard, often otiose, dull in its exactitudes, and too 
concerned about externals. For me, on the whole, it lacked 
poetry. To this judgment I still adhere, while not denying its 
huge masterfulness nor its good title to a European reputation. 
I then came to grips with War and Peace, which is a finer book 
than Anna Karenina. War and Peace is nearly as fine as anything 
there is. It is a staggering production for a young man, 
Tolstoi was in the thirties when he wrote it. It makes you 
comprehend that there simply are no novels in English, and very 
few in French. The effect of the unsentimentalised annals of 
the home life of Pierre and Natasha after all the battles are over 
is one of the finest tonic effects in the entire range of fiction. 
No " great " English novelist would have even begun to get it, 
because he would have sentimentalised the situation and made 
his helpless puppets live happily ever afterwards. I suppose 
that there is no historical novel to compare with War and Peace. 
Gogol s Taras Bulba, a jolly boyish tale with a contemptible 
plot and some splendid, roaring mediaeval pictures, cannot com 
pare with it. But Gogol may not yet be judged in English. 
Though I am willing to believe that Dead Souls is a colossal 
masterpiece of sardonic humour, absolute conviction must abide 
the issue of an English version that can be read without tears of 


exasperation. We need a complete Gogol in this country. 
Ukraine Nights is a strange and wonderful book. 

Some time after the publication in the Pseudonym Library 
of small books by less than great writers, such as Goncharov and 
Korolenko, the great Turgenev vogue began in Britain. It 
was due in the main to Edward and Constance Garnett. Mrs. 
Garnett s translations gave confidence ; Mr. Garnett s intro 
ductions constituted something new in English literary criticism ; 
they cast a fresh light on the art of fiction, completing the fitful 
illuminations offered by the essays of Mr. George Moore. In 
a short time On the Eve was, for eager young Englishmen of 
letters, the greatest novel ever written, and Bazarov, in Fathers 
and Children, the most typical character ever created by a novelist. 
Tolstoi receded, and Dostoevsky went clean out of sight. We 
knew that the Russians put Dostoevsky first and Turgenev 
third of the three, but we had no hesitation in deciding that the 
Russians did not thoroughly understand their own literature 
and that we did. We found social and political reasons why 
the Russians could not truly appreciate Turgenev. We were 
utterly convinced that Turgenev had carried imaginative narra 
tive art further than any man, and that Balzac was clumsy by the 
side of him. 

I still hold to this opinion. I do not think that any artist 
ever achieved more immaculate results with a more exquisite 
economy of means than Turgenev. Even in mere adroitness 
neither de Maupassant nor Chekhov is his match. And yet I 
have gradually come round to the Russian estimate of Turgenev. 
It was in Paris that the first doubts as to Turgenev s pre-eminence 
were sown in my mind. I met there a growing body of opinion 
whose oriflammes were Dostoevsky and Stendhal. Naturally 
I pitied these youthful Frenchmen for falling into the same 
error as the Russians. Then I lay awake at nights with the 
horrid thought : Is it conceivable that On the Eve is not the 
greatest novel ever written, and that Turgenev lacked some 
quality ? Then I read The Brothers Karamazov in French 
there was no English translation. The French translation was 
bad markedly inferior to the admirable French translations 
of Turgenev and the translator (as I afterwards learnt) had 


had the infelicitous idea of omitting, among other things, the 
whole of the first part of the book. The perusal of The Brothers 
Karamazov, even in the shorn and unfaithful French version, 
left me a changed man, for the novel is both more true and more 
romantic than any other whatsoever. The change has been 
slowly consolidated by the appearance of volume after volume 
of Mrs. Constance Garnett s translation (the only complete 
translation in any language). Turgenev s value has not lessened 
for me, but Dostoevsky s has enormously increased. 

Just as Stendhal cured me and many others of Flaubertism, 
so Dostoevsky cured us of Turgenevism. These two authors 
have survived throughout the period of the idolatry of technique 
inaugurated by Flaubert and closed by the flawless failures of 
lilemir Bourges. Both of them were free of that perverse self- 
consciousness of the artist which at bottom is the cover for a 
lack of inspiration and of interest in life itself. Both were far 
too interested in life to be unduly interested in art. Both were 
the truculent enemies of dilettantism in any form. Stendhal 
jeered at preciosity by deliberately imitating the style of the 
Code Napoleon ; and Dostoevsky s portrait of Turgenev is 
vicious, it is indeed a blot on the magnanimity of the most 
benevolent of novelists. Dostoevsky in particular wrote 
hurriedly ; he tumbled the stuff out of himself pell-mell. He 
excelled in sheer impressiveness because he had a more universal 
and authentic sympathy and a deeper comprehension of human 
nature than anybody else. Dostoevsky abhorred artifice, if 
he ever thought about artifice. He never tried for effects. He 
did not know what it was to be literary." He wrote novels 
as if he was eagerly talking to you, neither artlessly nor artfully, 
but in full bursting possession of his subject. Some novelists 
perform as though they were conjurors in evening-dress. Dos 
toievsky worked like a skilled workman with his sleeves rolled 
up and his hairy forearms showing. Or he may be likened to 
the master of a great sailing-ship. He will bring a novel safely 
to a climax and a close amid terrific stresses as a Scotch captain 
rounds Cape Horn in a gale, and you are on board ! 

It is characteristic of the baffling variousness of art that the 
next great Russian influence was Chekhov, who happened to 


be a supreme example of the dandiacal conjuring school. As 
Dostoevsky may be linked with Stendhal, so may Chekhov 
with de Maupassant. Chekhov was every bit as accomplished 
a virtuoso as de Maupassant. He beat de Maupassant in range 
because, unlike de Maupassant, he was free from the erotic 
obsession. Chekhov wrote a vast quantity of sketches which 
have no permanent value, but at his best he is unequalled in the 
technique of the short story, and his only rival in impressiveness 
on the same scale is Joseph Conrad. Finer stories than The 
Moujiks, Ward No. 6, The Ravine, and a few others have never 
been written. They have all the qualities of de Maupassant 
plus the unique poignancy of Chekhov. We must, however, 
await a critical and adequate edition of Chekhov before we can 
arrive at a full judgment of him. (It is coming.) Some of his 
tales have been tolerably translated, others execrably. The best 
have been done into English several times, and reappear in 
different volumes under different titles by different translators. 
Grave trouble awaits the bibliographers of the future, and the 
readers of the present are sometimes involved in needless expense, 
and so regard themselves as swindled. 

I might have mentioned many other Russian novelists of 
value, but it has been my fortune to encounter only one who 
can be ranked with the five great ones. I mean Schedrin, 
whose masterpiece, The Go/ov!ev Family, seems to me to be a 
work of the very first order. It has just been translated into 
English, but I have read it only in the French version, Les 
Messieurs Go/ov/eff, by Polonsky and Debesse, published by 
Savine, Paris. 



THE clock struck twelve. From all round the table rose a con 
fused noise as those present exchanged New Year wishes, with 
much drinking of healths and loud clinking of champagne 
glasses. In the silence which ensued when all were calm again 
there rose up a tall old man with flashing eyes and long snow- 
white hair. As though repressing some inward emotion, he 
began to speak in a low soft voice which little by little grew 
stronger and more resonant. 

I have been asked to say a few words about Russian literature 
that literature which I love as the noblest creation of the 
Russian people, and which is associated in my mind with the 
brightest hopes for the future. I believe that its thought, its 
ideals, its moral point of view, will one day be a great and glorious 
force in the historic life of Russian society. Society, in the realities 
of life, will tread the path along which literature has travelled in 
its visions and its hopes. I mean to say that the Russian nation 
will become worthy of its men of literary genius, that it will create, 
if I may so express myself, a social body for its soul. The dreams 
of Tolstoi and Dostoevsky will assume human flesh ! Perhaps 
you will say to me that these two writers differ entirely in the 
character of their beliefs and of their ideals, that it is impossible 
to pursue at the same time the ideals of Tolstoi and the ideals of 
Dostoevsky because between them yawns an impassable abyss. 

" True. Such is the case. But between these sharply opposed 
thinkers a higher reconciliation is possible a synthesis of the 
ideals of Tolstoi and Dostoevsky, and this synthesis will give 
a new impulse to literature. Let us consider for a moment in what 

8 9 


precisely the greatness of Tolstoi consists, his greatness on Russian 
soil both as a writer and as a thinker. It would be impossible 
to imagine a more national art than his or one more congenial to 
the Russian temperament. You read him, and all the time you 
see before you that of which he is speaking, exactly as though 
with your own eyes ; you live through the mental history of his 
characters with the same sense of personal relation to it as they 
themselves would have felt the pulse of the reader beats in unison 
with theirs. And all is, as it were, coloured by national thought, 
independent and at the same time universal. But the greatness 
of Tolstoi consists not only in this. This side of his creative genius 
expresses only the elemental, unconscious strength of the Russian 
nation that which comes to genius from above. But sometimes 
through the stately epic of this Russian Homer flash the lightnings 
of a vividly conscious intellect which sees with clear exactness that 
which can be but vaguely apprehended by the dim perceptions 
of the heart. It is then that Tolstoi indicates some mighty 
problem for the Russian nation, some great course for her future. 
I am speaking now of the irresistible rush of ideas which is char 
acteristic of all his imaginative work. His thoughts flow under 
more restraint in his journalistic and philosophical articles, but 
here in his purely literary art the stream of his thought is broader, 
fuller, as it were more resonant and elemental. In it is heard the 
voice of the spirit of Russia a spirit conscious and at the same 
time unconscious of itself a vast thought in which the truth 
reveals itself, possessed of an intuitive perception of the Deity. In 
all the literature of the world I do not know anything more 
magnificent than these revelations of an artistic philosophy, 
which burst, as it were, upon the reader in certain chapters of 
War and Peace. Do you remember the scene where Andrei 
Volkonsky falls upon the field of battle ? Suddenly, in a single 
moment, a new truth reveals itself to him. He sees above him 
the lofty, distant, illimitable sky, and within him is, as it were, 
reborn all that relates to his moral perceptions to his relations 
with life. Now he understands them differently. Now Napoleon 
with all his earthly power that genius of war and conquest 
seems to him a small and insignificant figure, undeserving of 
any interest. Volkonsky sees earthly things as from the heights 


of heaven, and human life receives for him another and a higher 
significance ; it moves, and must move, to that goal whither it is 
summoned by a kind and righteous Heaven. From out of the 
obscure perceptions of his spirit flows another and a different 
truth, transcending human experience, a broad reasoning from 
which comes a fresh appraisement of all earthly values. 

" From the point of view of the intellectual and social advance 
ment of the Russian nation there is immense significance in the 
fact that Tolstoi, even to the end, meditated upon this question 
and worked it out to its final logical conclusion, for it is by 
systematic thought and judgment that the road is made clear 
along which history must proceed. In this sense Tolstoi is a 
typically intellectual writer, because the intellect, as opposed to 
the soul with its emotional energies, its blind passions and par 
tialities, always evokes in man a complex process of reasoning; 
he comes forth, as it were, out of darkness, out of uncon 
sciousness, out of obscure perceptions and mental states, and 
immediately burns with the clear flame of consciousness. The 
soul does not love to philosophise. It loves the subjective, the 
concrete, the particular, all the intoxication of the moment, the 
splendour of the romance of the * ego. The intellect, on the 
contrary, always philosophises, it always regards a question 
objectively, it generalises and contemplates those universal laws 
under which the particular always presents itself in subordina 
tion to the general. It steeps itself in the contemplation of 
these things, and beyond the ecstasy of illuminating thought 
it beholds the universal truths of life needful to all, binding 
upon all. 

" When I say that Tolstoi is a thoroughly intellectual writer, 
I say at the same time that in the nation which has given him 
birth not only do there exist great unconscious forces of poetic 
and creative art, but there are already sown the seeds of a great 
harvest of conscious intellectual thought. And this thought must 
go on to develop itself on the brilliant lines along which the art 
of the Russian nation moves ; it must give to this nation strength 
to be true to itself, in its history, in its actions, in its social 

" Tolstoi fixes his gaze upon those moral ideas which must 


revivify humanity as a whole and infuse fresh energy into the 
broad movements of its social life. 

" He thinks of the human soul, not in relation to individualism 
and the personal development of the individual man, but in its 
relation to that * righteous and * kindly Heaven before whose 
presence all are of the same value all equal in their infinite 

" He is a writer, epic in the best sense of the word, by whose 
voice speaks the national intellect, making known to the whole 
universe its irresistible leaning towards objective moral truths." 

The aged enthusiast paused, cast his eyes over the assembly, 
and, seeing that he was being listened to, began to speak again, 
with increased energy and verve. 

" I said that the art of Tolstoi is flooded with conscious 
thought immense, majestic, not less remarkable than that art 
itself, and that this thought, mild and compassionate, develops itself 
on broad comprehensive lines. But now we have before us 
Dostoevsky another hero of contemporary Russian literature, 
the zealous apostle of Russian nationality. The intellect of this 
man flames more fiercely to the sky than does that of Tolstoi ; 
his thought, penetrating and devastating, soars into the empyrean 
and plumbs the lowest depths. In this respect there is no writer 
who can be compared to Dostoevsky, not only in Russian 
literature but in that of the whole world. He states the problem 
of humanity and God from a point of view opposite to that from 
which it is propounded by Tolstoi ; that is to say, from the in 
dividualistic standpoint. His art is full of a literary dialectic, in 
which is outlined the relation between mankind and the Deity, 
between the individual will and the absolute mind of the universe, 
between the passions of humanity and its recurring moods of 
religious ecstasy. His art does not give a picture of human 
society as a whole ; it merely represents man in the process of 
his psychological transformation and his intellectual regenera 
tion. It shows us man, in the conflict with his older self, with 
his c demon personality, little by little forming for himself a new 
soul, a new flesh, and going forward to that bourne beyond 
which a new life shall begin for him. Across the raging whirl 
pool of the contradictions between flesh and spirit he brings 


humanity over to new shores and points out to it a new unending 
road. This road is not that of which Tolstoi dreams ; but the 
very need for a new road is significant here a need which for 
him, as for Tolstoi, stood for a conscious idea. 

" I should say that the difference between these two master 
minds of Russian literature is this : that Tolstoi sees beyond his 
God the humanity of the future, morally noble and kindly and 
good ; he sees it as part of an immense whole which, following the 
path of individual moral improvement, shall little by little become 
ennobled in its instincts and, ordering itself aright before the 
face of Heaven, shall press forward toward its own spiritual and 
earthly good. This mental attitude is typical of an epic talent ! 
Tolstoi thinks of humanity as ripening in the boundless harvest- 
field of the future, gently fanned by the breath of a kind and 
righteous Heaven. 

" With Dostoevsky all is different. In his works the thunder 
rolls from a lowering Byzantine sky, whence flash the lightnings 
of a passionate hatred of all that does not pray to his God his 
Byzantine God. But setting aside his Byzantine dogmatics- 
majestic and intense, but not a natural growth of Russian soil, 
his creative genius still remains an organic and intellectually 
independent force, of a kind which possesses immense significance 
for the present time. This great searcher of hearts contemplates 
man in his tragic experiences, in all the torments of his importun 
ate thought on metaphysical subjects, in those logical and psycho 
logical processes from which for a complex nature there is no way 
of escape, and which it is impossible to suppress in man by any 
purely moral considerations. 

To Dostoevsky Heaven does not appear so bright, so 
kindly, or so just as it appears to Tolstoi. For Dostoevsky its 
heights are full of apocalyptic visions visions not only of healing 
blessings but also of a seductive beauty which kindles in the 
human soul destructive fires. 

And in that new path which he points out to humanity 
he sees, not that moral idyll which is in the mind of Tolstoi, but 
an eternal dialectic, an eternal struggle, an eternal revolt of the 
earthly will, and an eternal advance to higher truths through 
the rapture of sacrifice. 


This is where Dostoevsky reveals himself as a typical 
representative of contemporary thought and, so to speak, as 
the point of departure of a new wave of energy in life and 
literature. He loves a complex, meditative character, and 
searches out all the depths of such a soul, pointing out to it the 
goal of life, not in the yearning for peaceful earthly happenings 
but in the labour of the intellect, in the ceaseless search for the 
Deity, in the spiritualisation of beauty. 

" And so we pass beyond Tolstoi and beyond Dostoevsky. 
We must have a synthesis a synthesis which shall combine the 
eternal majesty which belongs to Tolstoi with the unchanging 
truth and profound logical and psychological analysis of 

" Tolstoi was strongly imbued with a feeling of the intimate 
union between the man and humanity the oneness of the in 
dividual and the race ; the man and his humanity are thought of 
simultaneously, the one cannot be separated from the other. To 
Tolstoi a man is part of a vast universe ; to Dostoevsky, on 
the contrary, he is in himself a sort of world, though in close 
touch with other worlds, with other persons, but moving in a 
kind of darkness, far away from the sluggishly living crowd, 
absorbed in convulsive yearnings after God, all unknown to 
his fellow - men. For him man lives in an awful loneliness, 
apparently with no perception of aught beyond himself or his 
own emotions, of aught beyond what takes place within himself. 

Dostoevsky ! This name covers the whole field of con 
temporary life. Russian society throughout the course of long 
ages has lived in isolation from its own vital forces, lonely in its 
psychical and mental activities, its original minds, isolated from 
what is regarded as the mass of the commonplace. But the pro 
foundly critical moment of the break with the ancient, too simple, 
conceptions has gone by, and forces are gathering for the con 
struction of a new system of reasoning. The intellectual forces 
developed by society have hitherto lived in an aesthetic indivi 
dualism, and devoted themselves to the search for a new meta- 
physic. But it seems to me that a new era is approaching. 
Having passed beyond the psychological dialectic of Dostoevsky 
and absorbed from it its finest essence, its passion, its enthusiasm, 


the man of to-day begins to feel himself set on a new road. He 
begins to see the one-sidedness of the individualistic cult, he 
begins to gravitate towards the social ideal, to perceive the 
bond which unites him with humanity. He is no longer inclined 
to call it commonplace ; he fixes his eyes, not on its banality but 
on its sufferings, on its aspiration towards the truth, its inde 
feasible right to the perfecting of its earthly life and to the free 
poetry of heaven. A new man is being born whose new and 
single will is bent towards life, but acts under the impulse of 
a conscious, individual religion. And this new man, for the 
clothing with flesh of his lofty ideas, takes again into his hand 
that ancient but trusty instrument, solidarity with society and 
with humanity. And he, this new man, will cause a new wave 
of energy to flow through literature, not a one-sided analytical 
creation in the province of personal psychology, but a synthetic 
creation in which personality, with all the riches of its psychological 
and philosophical constitution and its manifold needs, shall appear 
as the living tabernacle of a mighty organism. 

" Deeply significant influences are beginning to make them 
selves felt in human life, or rather, to speak more exactly, deeply 
significant work is beginning in the world of literature, a new 
wave of inspiration is surely coming over Russian literary art. 

Let us drink then, gentlemen, to the renewal of our own 
life and to the renewal of Russian literature ! 



BY N. I. KAREV, Professor of Modern History at the 

University of Petrograd 


IF the question were put to me whether more were known of 
England in Russia or of Russia in England, I should without a 
moment s hesitation answer that question by saying that England 
is a great deal more and better known in Russia than Russia in 
England. Naturally I can only compare in both countries the 
intelligent, the well-educated classes, especially the learned, the 
literary, the journalists, politicians, and public men, all who 
constitute the cultured section of the community, or who are 
very closely connected with it, who are interested in science, 
literature, art, who read serious newspapers and reviews, or in 
some way or other come into contact with politics, etc. 

First of all, there can be no doubt that a knowledge of the 
English language is incomparably more diffused in Russia than 
the Russian language is in England. I shall not deal with the 
cause of this, and still less do I intend to attach to it any import 
ance. I merely state the fact. Of course if we were to compare 
the extent to which the English language is known in Russia 
with the extent to which German or French is known, we should 
find that English is very little known ; but, if it were possible 
to obtain statistics of all those Russians who could read or speak 
English, the figures would be quite surprising. 

I am not speaking of the aristocratic vogue for English among 
those families who can have English governesses and tutors for 
their children. I have in mind those who study English in 
public or private schools, or in many cases teach themselves. 



They may not learn to speak it, but they learn to read it. And 
among this number are many who translate English books into 
Russian, write articles on English politics, on public or economic 
affairs, on English erudition, literature, and so forth in the 
newspapers and reviews, and thus inform the Russian public of 
all that is most important and is actually happening in England. 
Moreover, a large number of English poetical works and novels 
have been translated into Russian, besides works on philosophy, 
history, law, political economy, natural history, and so on. For 
instance, several translations of Shakespeare and Byron have 
been in existence for some time, and also illustrated editions of 
them with notes. The most recent poets are also translated, 
studied, and annotated. English novelists too enjoy a certain 
popularity, and every year a considerable number of their works 
are translated. Not a few scientific and philosophic books have 
become widely popular in Russia, and have consequently been 
issued in several editions and translations. Of those writers 
who in their day were most popular, I might mention John 
Stuart Mill, Buckle, Darwin, Spencer. The reading public can, 
in Russian translations, become conversant with the history 
of England through the works of such authorities as Gardiner, 
Green, Freeman, MacCarthy, Macaulay, Seeley, Traill, and so 
forth, not excluding either such writers on the economic history 
of England as Ashley, Gibbon, Cunningham, Toynbee, and 
others. Specific works have also been translated, such as 
Gammage on Chartism, Jefferson on Public Speaking. Works 
on the English constitution such as those of Anson, Dicey, and 
Lowell also exist in Russian translations. 

Not satisfied merely with English literature, Russian trans 
lators turn for a closer acquaintance with England to other 
literatures containing anything important. For instance, among 
French books on the history of England and on its literature, 
Boutmy, Guizot, Taine, and others have been translated ; so 
among German books have Bernstein on social reforms in the 
seventeenth century, Gneist, Redlich on local administration. 
One could devote a good deal of space merely to names if 
one wished to treat the subject exhaustively. 

It naturally follows that none of these translations would 


find buyers or readers unless among the general public there 
were people not only interested in England, its history, its con 
stitution and public life, but more or less grounded in the subjects 
of these books, and capable without any special effort of under 
standing them. This interest and this knowledge are partly 
facilitated by the schools and partly by the literary popularisation 
of England in pamphlets, articles, etc. 

The Russian middle schools, which are attended by youths 
and maidens of eighteen and nineteen, include in their programme 
not only the history of their own country, but universal history, 
and among the latter the history of western Europe in the Middle 
Ages and in modern times. English history from the time of 
the settlement of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain forms part of 
their course on the Middle Ages. I shall cite one of these school 
manuals divided into two parts. In the one (the Middle Ages), 
containing two hundred and twenty pages of text, not counting 
those dealing with England s share in the Crusades and the 
Hundred Years Anglo-French Wars, there are about twenty 
pages devoted to the internal history of England, in which the 
greatest importance is attributed to Magna Carta and the founding 
of the Parliament. The second part (Modern History) contains 
about three hundred and twenty pages, over thirty of which, 
again not including those referring to England s share in the 
Wars of the Period, are reserved for England. Thus Russian 
school manuals contain a fifty-page summary of England s 
internal history, and although a good deal of that may be for 
gotten, some of it is retained, and forms a basis on which to 
accumulate new information derived from the numerous popular 
books on particular individuals, events, or phenomena of 
English history, and also from articles on contemporary life 
published in monthly periodicals and newspapers. These articles 
are read with very great interest, are subsequently collected and 
bound, and find yet other readers. Take, for example, Mr. 
Dioneo s 1 (pseudonym) correspondence from London, which 
was afterwards collected in two volumes. Then the Russian 
periodical press carefully follows all that happens in England, 
thus sustaining the interest of the public. By the quantity of 

1 See pp. 132-14.1 for his contribution to this volume. 


material distributed every month, the average Russian reader 
can follow the inner life of the English nation. This has been 
going on for some time. It does not merely date from the 
moment when England became an ally of Russia. Even when 
Russian public opinion did not approve of England s foreign 
policy, educated people in Russia were most sympathetically 
interested in her internal affairs. Besides all this, not only are 
English books and books on England translated and much 
information on present-day conditions disseminated, but the 
past and present English nation is studied independently. In 
Russian universities and the higher women s courses, which are 
being more and more transformed into regular universities, the 
classes for professors and students not infrequently treat of 
England. Among the professors of history, law, economics, 
one could name a number of specialists on England who have 
worked in English libraries and among English archives, and 
are therefore sometimes known in England if their work which, 
alas ! happens somewhat rarely be translated into English. 
One of these Russian scholars is Professor Paul Vinogradoff, 1 
who occupies a chair at Oxford University. His work on the 
Social History of England in the Middle Ages is well known. 
Other scholars who have studied independently at various periods 
of English history are : Petrushevsky, who wrote on the Wat 
Tyler insurrection ; A. Savin, who wrote on English country 
life under the Tudors and the secularisation of the monasteries 
in England in the seventeenth century (translated into English) ; 
Krusman, who published a great work on the forerunners of 
Humanism in England ; Storojenko, a student of Shakespeare 
and his predecessors (very well known to English students 
of Shakespeare) ; Kuznetsov, who recently published a book 
about the House of Commons in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries ; V. Deryujinsky, who wrote on the Habeas Corpus 
Act ; and more especially M. Kovalevsky, 2 who in his books and 
minor works, covering a period of forty years, very frequently 
referred to England. There are also a considerable number of 

1 See post, Part VIII., for his article on " The Task of Russia." 

2 M. Kovalevsky, before his death in 1916, took a lively interest in this book, to which 
he had promised a contribution. 


Russian economists who quite independently and most methodi 
cally have discussed England s attitude towards questions of 
Irish government, Free Trade, etc. Apart from such erudite 
researches, many of the above-named writers, as well as other 
university professors, historians, theologians, lawyers, and econo 
mists have contributed to make popular a thorough study of 
England. Among them I would call attention to several writers 
not belonging to any university who may be regarded as authori 
ties on English affairs. One of these is Mr. Ostrogorsky, former 
member of the First Imperial Duma, known in England by his 
great work in two volumes, published in English and French, on 
democracy and the Organisation of Political Parties in England 
and the United States of America. Mr. Mijuev, too, has done a 
great deal to acquaint Russian readers with the system of teaching 
in the primary and secondary schools, besides writing a book 
on Britain s Colonial Empire and a popular review of English 
history in the nineteenth century. On the whole, all that has 
been done in Russia with regard to the study of England and 
in order to acquaint the Russian public with that country would 
form a voluminous work, filled with the names of authoritative 

Moreover, in the Russian higher schools opportunities are 
afforded to those intending to pursue studies in this direction. 
There are special lectures in the English language in all the 
higher schools. Further, in the Historico-Philological Faculties, 
courses are given and papers are set on English history, literature, 
constitution, and administration. Finally, we more and more 
frequently find young men intending to follow a student s career 
selecting as special subjects various questions connected with 
past or contemporary England. One must assume that political 
unity will only draw the two nations together more closely, and 
that their mutual acquaintance will now proceed more rapidly. 

Nevertheless, in spite of all that has been said, we must 
acknowledge that to the educated classes France and Germany 
are better known than England. One reason is that Germany 
is Russia s next-door neighbour, and ever since the time of Peter 
the Great there have been among us Germans occupying pro 
minent positions. French influence on Russia also dates very 


far back ; it began in the middle of the eighteenth century. 
Anglo-Russian relations began very much later, and were not 
so vigorously maintained. If the English language is more 
widely known in Russia than Russian in England, it remains, all 
the same, a long way behind French and German. Russian 
travellers to England have also been incomparably fewer than 
to the western continental countries, particularly the nearer 
ones, viz. Germany, Austria, and other regions, such as 
Switzerland, the Riviera, Italy, Paris, whither also great numbers 
of English people have always flocked. One may say that the 
knowledge of England in vogue among educated Russians has 
been principally derived from books, which means that it is 
confined chiefly to the cultured classes, among whom, of course, 
translators play a prominent part as intermediaries. The geo 
graphical inaccessibility of England, the inevitable sea voyage, 
so alarming to a land-loving people, the comparatively little 
English we can command, the cost of living in England, 
exaggerated accounts of its climate, and the political estrange 
ment of the past have been reasons why Russian tourists have 
not been drawn to England. We must hope that some of these 
reasons will cease to exist in the future, that both nations will 
come to understand better and better each other s interests, to 
have an unprejudiced and sympathetic regard for the spiritual 
world of each other s national ego, to the benefit of both nations 
and of all mankind, which sooner or later must learn respect for 
the right of every people to be itself. 



of the Academy founded by Nicolas II. 


THE influence which a great writer exerts upon human life may 
manifest itself in very different ways. He may found a school ; 
he may have individual followers ; he may help mankind towards 
the solution of this or that definite problem ; or he may make 
his influence felt throughout the whole extent of our spiritual 
and intellectual " ego " that mysterious something which we call 
the "soul " of man and it is such an influence as this which has 
the most value in respect of moral and intellectual development. 
Nevertheless, to determine accurately the precise degree to which 
such a writer has modified our mental and spiritual outlook is 
in the highest degree difficult : such things are matters of in 
tuitive perception and scarcely admit of precise definition. 

In the ranks of those poets, native and foreign, who have been 
our teachers, Shakespeare has long held a place of his own, and 
certainly in days of old, when our creative achievement was 
inferior to that of the present time, we were more indebted to 
him for our intellectual enrichment than we are at the present 


In Russia time moves quickly. Not so long ago there was 
absent from our national life one of those elements without which 
it is difficult for any of us even to imagine the life of mankind. 
We hardly knew the meaning of passion in the inward world of 
ideas. We were passionless we, who for the last two decades 



have been boiling in the cauldron of all the passions, genuine or 
artificial. To-day we are bundles of nerves and morbidly irrit 
able ; our speech has acquired an intensity and a bitterness un 
known before our thought has acquired the trenchant sharpness 
of a keenly tempered blade ; our heart sometimes beats so violently 
that our neighbour can hear it. And yet there was a time, and 
that not so very remote from our own, when there was nothing 
of this. 

At that time the Emperor Nicolas Pavlovich 1 sat upon the 
throne and together with him peace reigned for thirty years in 
Russia. It is true that on the distant frontiers, on the banks of 
the Danube, we used to fight with the Turks, waging war against 
them with primitive strategy ; in the Caucasus also for many a 
long year the sound of the guns was never silent. There many 
heroic deeds of reckless valour were done, but the sound of that 
warfare never echoed beyond those lofty mountain chains, it 
died into silence in our illimitable forests, our marshes and our 
valleys, unless perhaps it may have allured and enkindled the 
imagination of young men who found life dreary and stifling in 
farmhouses and in towns, or it may have stirred the romantic hearts 
of young maidens for whom a military uniform was not without 
attraction. In those days, too, we fought a campaign in Austria 
and for her sake pacified the Hungarians. For we had much at 
heart the integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and we were 
specially anxious to please Francis Joseph, who is showing his 
gratitude to us at the present time. 

But these skirmishings on distant frontiers, which in our day 
seem no more than mere manoeuvres or expeditions, were the 
only events which, in the course of thirty long years, brought 
into our silent life any echo of the thunder of the world beyond. 

The interior of the country was tranquil ; and the Emperor 
Nicolas Pavlovich loved tranquillity except in the matter of 
military reviews and drilling. These things occurred every 
where and were carried on with great vigour, but they served 
rather to intimidate the peaceful inhabitants than to overawe the 
enemy, who, for his part, was watching for a favourable oppor 
tunity to pay us back for the curbing of Napoleon, the rescue of 

1 This Emperor reigned from 1825 to 1855. 


Prussia, the defence of Austria, and the protection of the peasant 
population against the brutalities of the Turks. 

The period was one of peace. And if it is possible to describe 
whole epochs of history by one word one may say that it was 
a period of passionlessness. 

Placidly and tranquilly, except for some isolated peasant 
risings, we lived on remote farms lost in the wilds ; life flowed 
peacefully on in the provincial capitals and towns, and quiet 
reigned over all the limitless expanse of our land, which was still 
without intercourse with the universe beyond. 


This tranquillity, this passivity, are celebrated in glowing 
terms in the literature of the period a literature which, though 
very imperfect, is yet a truthful chronicle or, as it were, con 
fession, of a people destined by nature herself for a passionate 
relation to life. 

The names of all the writers of these years awaken peaceful 
recollections in our minds : Jukovsky, placid and resigned 
perforce ; Pushkin, after outliving a brief access of passion, 
spontaneous in the stately tranquillity of his works ; Gogol, rarely 
allowing anything like passion to escape from him and hiding 
his feelings beneath tears and laughter. All the novelists of this 
period are representatives of what is called the romantic school. 
They desired to show themselves passionate ; but they were cold 
in their treatment of everything save of the passion of love. 
That, certainly, has its value in life, but is not by any means a 
substitute for those greater passions which give to life its colour 
and its rhythm. The literary artists were calm, and their critics 
were calm too, for they allowed themselves to be passionate only 
in their desire to attain to a philosophic or aesthetic passionlessness, 
in which they might preserve the truth and universality of abstract 

There are, however, some other names which are, as it were, 
in close association with the idea of passion Lermontov, Belinsky, 
Hertsen, Bakunin. But Hertsen and Bakunin so long as they 
lived in their native country never gave utterance to passion ; 


and when they had once discovered that life is impossible without 
it, they immediately fled from Russia. Finally, Lermontov was 
a singer of passion, but no less a singer of the longing for the 
passions and of wrath against those in whom the passions are 
but feeble. Belinsky s too was a passionate nature ; but how 
he wrestled with his passions and how he strove to convince 
himself that they were unintelligent ! 

Exceptions are always possible, indeed inevitable, and it would 
be useless to point them out in what is only a general discussion 
of the characteristics of the period. 


We are accustomed to look upon the theatre as the arena of the 
passions ; and dramatic action, which holds the spectators with 
especial force, is always a truthful index of the general mental 
attitude of society. But in this case there must be a reservation, 
for, when we speak of our theatre in its past or in its present, we 
must not ignore the dramatic censorship, which has always made 
a point of debasing theatrical representations as much as possible. 

But in the time of the Emperor Nicolas the task of the 
censorship was simplified to the greatest possible extent by the 
fact that passion, even on the stage, was a thing of extreme rarity. 

During that period it was in the drama more than in any 
other domain of artistic creation that we lived, so to speak, at the 
expense of others. It is true that we possessed examples of a 
kind of satire on individuals which was not without literary merit. 
But all genuine passions those passions which form at once 
the setting and the motive power of human life do not spring 
from the soil of irony and sarcasm ; comedy and laughter have 
no part in their development. It is tragedy and the serious 
drama which arouse passion and sustain it ; but at the time in 
question we possessed neither the one nor the other as a creation 
of the national genius ; our historical experience was still all too 
limited to permit of our voice making itself heard amidst the 
mighty chorus of the passions of the world. If we wanted to 
listen to some voice of passion, we must needs lend an ear to the 
sayings of our neighbours. 


From the beginning of the eighteenth century the works of 
foreign dramatists, in which the universal passions found ex 
pression, began to be introduced slowly and cautiously upon our 
stage. But not a single drama whether ancient, French, or 
German was able to give us any conception of the nature of 
strong, deep, wholesome passion, or what is essentially the place 
of this passion in human life. The first to unfold this mystery 
to us was Shakespeare, and the huge multitudes who thronged 
to listen to his plays found in him, as it were, an individual guide 
and teacher. 

It had been the endeavour of all dramatists to give advice, 
either openly or covertly, to the spectator. The adaptations of 
ancient Greek and of French tragedy, of sentimental comedy, of 
personal satire, the German drama of the " Sturm und Drang 
period, the bourgeois melodrama, and even the frivolous vaudeville, 
were all didactic ; they invariably strove to point out to us how 
we should behave under similar circumstances, what to shun 
and what to strive for. Only from Shakespeare s plays was the 
didactic element absent ; he alone abstained alike from exhorta 
tion and from warning. In his plays there was nothing to prevent 
even so poorly equipped a spectator as was the Russian of those 
days from soothing himself with some moral maxim or another. 
Yet it is unlikely that even in these days any one coming out 
of a theatre after seeing Hamlet, Lear, Othello, or any other play 
of Shakespeare ever said to himself, Do not hesitate long, but 
act," Avoid ambition," " Do not allow yourself to judge your 
neighbour," " Do not be jealous without cause." Shakespeare 
did not teach a man how he should act under given circumstances, 
but what should be his attitude towards life in general. It is 
impossible to extract from his plays any philosophy of life, 
although his tragedies are full to overflowing of wise sayings. 
Always and everywhere the omnipotence of passion was dear to 
Shakespeare. We are accustomed to wonder at the number of 
characters and types which he has created, but not less amazing is 
the skill with which he represents passion in its victorious duel with 


the soul of man. There is no dramatist who is such a master in 
the realm of the passions, be they never so diverse none who 
can make the passions kindle and blaze and burn themselves out 
before our eyes as he does. To the dramatist of the ancient 
world a mighty and fatal passion seemed so alien to humanity 
that he represents it almost always as some spell or curse from the 
gods. At their command man is seized upon by passion, and 
afterwards it is they who release him from it if such be their will. 
In the Spanish drama many violent feelings were also attributed 
to the Divine interposition, and the sphere of action of these 
plays was accordingly more restricted ; they were narrower 
and less intense. In French classical tragedy also the passions 
were not allowed free play. Now and again in the German 
drama of the " Sturm und Drang period, and in the romantic 
drama of France, the passions kindled brightly into flame, but for 
this they were for the most part indebted to Shakespeare* 


Then came a day when this anatomist, this physiologist, this 
delineator of the passions, displayed to his passionless Russian 
audience the living page of the history of the human soul. He 
showed them that man is the sport of his passions, not by any 
decree from above, but by the free action of his own heart and 

Characters wholly new to us appeared on the stage. They 
were consumed by the flames of passions which were not in them 
selves unknown to us only we could not understand how they 
could burn so fiercely. Before our eyes love ascended the pyre 
and was consumed by torments and delights ; malice and hatred 
in their delirium revealed their secrets ; pride, vanity, and ambi 
tion whispered their hidden designs ; they triumphed or 
perished. We saw how the weak made themselves strong because 
their feelings and desires were strong ; how the strong became 
weak because passion had robbed them of their strength ; and, 
finally, we saw the man, who, longing to be strong and full of 
passion, nevertheless succumbed in the struggle with his own 
nature, attaining only in the moment of death to the satisfaction 


of that longing. And that victim of the search for his own 
ego," that unhappy Danish prince, was specially dear to our 

Passion great and deep, definite and strong, was something 
quite remote from us. Yet all of us knew well that innate irresist 
ible tendency, that longing to burn with passion, that tormenting 
desire to be done with the nightmare of doubt and hesitation ! 
Night after night in those days we would go to the theatre to 
listen to the question " To be, or not to be ? And each of us 
could see himself in that tragedy of human life. 


But the curtain fell ; we dispersed, we went home and knew 
that there there awaited us the same workaday stagnation. In 
dwellings splendid or poor, amidst callings humble or distin 
guished, in narrow circles or in wide, there awaited us a life of 
monotonous impassivity. 

And we reflected : " This life which has just flashed by us 
on the stage certainly never was and never will be, but in it there 
is something which might exist and might beautify our lives. 
This something is free and powerful passion. For great and 
deep passions do exist they have just been speaking to us from 
the stage ; we know of them also from books, the great books of 
the world s literature, we know of them from the records of 
history from Plutarctis Lives down to the Memoirs of St. 
Helena. Why is it, then, that in all that we see around us we can 
never feel them ? Because round us are stirring only shallow 
passions, and of these there are so many in ourselves. And there 
are so many, perhaps, precisely because the great and vivifying 
passions have no place in our souls. 


The years went by ; and into our life came the knowledge 
of passion. Deep and strong, rushing, as it were, like a flood, 
making up for the time lost and growing ever stronger and 
stronger, it carried us away in its whirl. 


How often in the last ten or fifteen years, when confronted 
by some unwonted situation in our individual, family, social, or 
political life, we would say, " What a dramatic situation ! worthy 
of the pen of Shakespeare ! In these words was not a mere 
aesthetic appraisement of the fact which called them forth, but 
in them might be heard the note of grateful remembrance, seeing 
that for many long years the genius of Shakespeare had been 
closely associated in our memories with a lofty and tragic ideal 
of [life. And the road to the secret of this ideal lay through the 
kingdom of the passions. 


How does our life respond to this call of the passions raging 
in the world of ideas ? Have they any direct, immediate influ 
ence upon it ? They have, incontestably, but it is indefinable 
even for those who have fallen under it, and another s eye, be it 
ever so keen, can never behold that mysterious change of 
substance in the human soul. Mighty is the world of ideas 
which teaches us how to bear ourselves towards the world of 
external facts. And there was a time in our lives when the 
tragedies of Shakespeare, like a book or like a spectacle, revealed 
to us that with which our souls had never reckoned, and fore 
shadowed with pictorial vividness that change which was in 
evitably to come upon us. 




IN the long tension of the sombre year 
Neither to work nor even breathe is light . . . 
That which arises from our people dear, 
That only in these days of gloom is bright. 

For prayer and tears and the funereal taper, 
The woe and stress of war all these, I trow, 
Are tokens sent by Him, th almighty Shaper : 
Near are the gates of Kitej city, know ! 

After the hurricane there follows calm ; 
But not in vain the flight of each pure soul, 
For not one life that grasped the martyr s palm 
Will ever be erased from Time s long roll. 

Beside the soldier s ever-radiant grave 
The grateful flowers, in their nearness new 
To righteousness, and strength and candour brave, 
Will blow with sweeter scent and vivid hue. 

By the brave spirit of our champions meek 
For us, too, life and healing will be won. 
And, in the coming, joyful world we seek, 
We and our people, we shall be as one. 



SHE was like a river running on a bed of sugar, 
Flowing as on muscat, 
With banks of crystal, 
And sands of pearls, 
And stones of diamonds. 

She was a clever maiden, 
Clever and sensible, 
Quiet and modest. 
She was her Father s only daughter 
And her Mother s only one 
Pelageia Fedorovna. 

She paced her bright little parlour, 
Went through the joyful hall to the tent 
Thus Pelageiushka joined, thus Fedorovna joined 
Her promised swain, her elected one. 

She awakened him and awakened him again : 
* Arise, dear soul of mine, 
Wake up, Father s son : 
I come here not to eat nor drink 
But to play with thee 
All games of this village 
And of other countries." 


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The game was lost by the white swan : 
The dear and lovely maiden lost 
The Italian scarf from her white neck 
And gave it to her promised swain, 

To her elected one. 
The valiant youth was a loser too : 
And gave from his right hand a golden ring 
To his promised bride, to his elected one. 






ONCE upon a time there lived a peasant and his wife. They had 
three daughters ; the two eldest were gay, vain, and fond of dress, 
but the third was quiet and modest. She would work all day 
long for others, therefore every one called her Durochka, or 
* little fool," and nagged at her. But she never complained, 
and patiently obeyed all who ordered her about. The whole day 
long she heard nothing but " Do this, stupid girl," or, " Come 
here, little fool." One day her father was going to the fair. 
Before he went he promised to bring his daughters a present, 
and asked them what they would like. The eldest said : " Dear 
father, bring me some red stuff for a sarafan." 1 " And I should 
like some yellow stuff," said the second. But Durochka re 
mained silent. Yet she too was a daughter ; so, taking pity 
on her, her father said : " And what shall I bring you ? " Then 
she replied : Dear father, buy me a silver plate and a rosy- 
cheeked apple." : What are you going to do with them ? " 
asked her sisters. " I shall spin the apple on the plate and say 
some words an old woman taught me when I gave her some 

Her father promised to bring the gifts, and went away. 
When he returned from the fair, he brought back what his 
daughters had asked for ; for the eldest the red stuff for a sarafan^ 

1 A sarafan is a special dress worn by the Russian peasant women. It is a long loose 
robe held by shoulder straps. 



for the second the yellow stuff, and for the third, for Durochka, 
her silver plate with a rosy apple on it. The eldest daughters 
made themselves some beautiful sarafans, and, laughing at the 
youngest one, waited to see what she would do with her plate 
and apple. Durochka did not eat the apple, but sat in a corner, 
turned it round on its plate, and muttering to herself : Turn, 
turn, little apple, on the silver plate. Show me towns, fields, 
forests, seas, high mountains, and the beautiful sky." And the 
little apple began to turn on the plate, rosy pink on silver. Then 
there appeared on the plate towns, ships on the seas, soldiers 
in the field, mountain tops, and beautiful sky. The glory of 
it all no pen can describe ; it was more beautiful than any fairy 
tale you have ever heard. 

Meanwhile the sisters were looking on and growing very 
jealous. They asked Durochka to exchange her silver plate 
and rosy apple for something else ; but, as she refused, the 
sisters made up their minds to take them by force. 

So they asked their sister to go with them to pick berries in 
the forest. Durochka gave her plate and apple into her father s 
keeping and followed her sisters. While she was wandering in 
the wood gathering berries, she saw a spade lying in the grass. 
Suddenly the sisters took the spade and killed her with it. Then 
they buried her under a birch tree, and went home and said : 
Our sister ran away from us and was lost. We searched the 
forest for her, but could not find her ; probably the wolves have 
eaten her." 

The father mourned for Durochka, for she was his daughter, 
although every one thought her so stupid ; and he locked the 
rosy apple and the silver plate safely away in a casket. This 
made the sisters so angry that they shed bitter tears. 

One day a young shepherd lost his sheep, and he went into 
the forest to find them. A long time he wandered about till 
he came to a little birch tree, and under this tree he saw a mound 
with tiny flowers, red, yellow, and blue, growing on it. And 
among the flowers grew a hollow cane, which the shepherd cut 
and fashioned into a flute. Then he blew it, and straightway it 
began to sing these words. " Play, play, my little flute," it 
sang, " give joy to my dear father, my darling mother, and my 



dear sisters. They have killed poor little Durochka in the dark 
forest for the sake of the silver plate and rosy apple." The 
shepherd went to the village with the flute, repeating the same 
song all the way. Many people gathered together to listen to 
it, and, full of wonder, they asked the shepherd why he made 
it sing like that. My good people," he answered, * I know 
nothing about it. When I was looking for my sheep in the 
forest I saw a mound, and on this mound flowers, and above the 
flowers grew a cane, which I cut and made into a flute. The 
flute plays and sings by itself as soon as I blow it." Now 
Durochka s father happened to hear these words, and taking the 
flute from the shepherd, blew it, and it began to sing its old song. 
Take us there, shepherd, and show us where you cut this cane," 
said the father. And they all followed the shepherd to the forest, 
to the mound covered with flowers. Then they dug up the 
mound and found poor dead Durochka. When the father 
recognised her he began to weep, and everybody asked : ; Who 
has killed the girl ? Then answered the flute : " Dearest father, 
it was my sisters who asked me to go to the forest with them. 
They killed me. You can only wake me out of this heavy sleep 
when you have found the water of life from the Tsar s well." 

At these words the sisters were so frightened that they 
turned as white as snow, and confessed everything. They were 
at once seized, bound, and shut up in a dark cellar. Then the 
father went to the Tsar himself to ask for the water from his 
well. He reached the town and made his way to the palace. 
The Tsar came out majestically on to the golden steps of his 

Bowing to the ground, the old man craved the water of life 
from the Tsar ; and the latter in his goodness, when he had 
heard the request, said : Take the water from my well, old 
man, and when your daughter has returned to life, bring her 
to me with her silver plate and apple, and her jealous sisters." 
The old man was filled with joy, bowed low, and departed. 
He went to the forest, found the flowery grave, and dug up 
the ground. 

Then he sprinkled his dear child s body with the water ; 
and, coming to life again, she fell on her father s neck, hugging 



and kissing him. All the people came and wept at this moving 
sight. Then, taking his three daughters with him, the old man 
went once more to the capital, and waited in front of the palace. 
The Tsar came out to them. He saw the old man with his 
daughters. Two of them were bound with cords, but the third 
was standing beautiful as a flower of spring, with the tears like 
pearls falling from her eyes. The Tsar looked on this beauty, 
unable to take his eyes off her, but never a glance did he 
give the other two. " Where is your plate and rosy apple ? : 
he asked Durochka. Then she took the little apple and the 
plate from the casket, and said : ; What do you, my Tsar, wish 
to see ? Your strong towns, or your brave soldiers, the ships 
on the sea, or the bright stars in the sky ? The pink apple 
began to turn round and round on the silver plate, and on it 
there appeared one town after another ; big regiments going 
to the war ; then followed the firing and shooting, and the smoke, 
rising to the sky, covered the clouds and hid everything from 
view. Still the little apple turned round the pink apple on the 
silver plate. Then the sea appeared, with ships sailing on it, 
and gay flags flying in the breeze ; and again the smoke from 
the firing and shooting covered the clouds and hid everything 
from view. Still the apple turned round the pink apple on the 
silver plate. Of a sudden the beautiful sky appeared ; suns rose 
and set, and multitudes of stars gathered in constellations all 
over the firmament. 

The Tsar watched it all with delight. Durochka, with 
tears in her eyes, asked the Tsar to have mercy on her sisters. 

* My Tsar," said she, " take the pink apple on the silver plate, 
but forgive my sisters ; do not punish them for the wrong they 
have done me." Moved by her entreaties, the Tsar decided to 
forgive the sisters, who immediately fell at his feet, thanking 
him. Then, drawing the youngest towards him, he asked her : 
Will you be my wife, and a kind Tsaritza to the people ? 

My Tsar," said she, " I will ask my parents to decide, and do 
as they bid me." The father, bowing to the ground, thanked 
the Tsar for this great honour, and sent for his wife, who came 
to give her consent and blessing to her daughter. 

One more request Durochka begged the Tsar to grant her, 


that she might not be parted from her parents and sisters, but 
that they might remain with her. 

There were great rejoicings in the palace, which was ablaze 
with illuminations. The Tsar and Durochka were married. 
They rode at the head of a great triumphal procession in a 
beautiful chariot, and everywhere the crowd greeted them with 
lusty shouts : Long live the Tsar and Tsaritza." 

Translated by Z. SHKLOVSKY and I. PEVNY. 






CZAPLICKA, Mary Ewart Lecturer in Ethnology to the 
School of Anthropology of the University of Oxford 

IN summer you can see him in his little canoe (vetka) on the 
waters of the Yenisei or the Lena. He is obviously returning 
from shooting or fishing, for the little vetka is laden with spoil. 
His paddle cuts through the fierce waves of these gigantic 
northern rivers. He battles resolutely against them, for he is 
determined not to part with his canoe, since he is too super 
stitious and fatalistic even to learn to swim. Indeed, swimming 
would in any case avail little in the stormy waters of the Lena 
and the Yenisei, or of the Balkan Lake. Better fight and not 
give in, that life and spoil may both be saved. 

In winter you may find him with his dog teams hidden in a 
hole in the snow, sheltering from the Siberian blizzard (pur go). It 
is on record that he can remain there as long as five days. He is 
hardier even than his dogs. Half of his team of six or eight may 
die, but the man will be the last to perish. Most probably he will 
survive, and return to his log-hut home somewhere near the 
Arctic Circle as soon as the blizzard is over. 

Or, again, you may see two of them fighting furiously with 
their fists over a girl, for girls are scarce in these northern regions, 
and, especially when alcohol is accessible, these combats often 
become very ferocious. 

In all these and many other scenes in his life you may re 
cognise the tall, burly fellow, with bushy hair. He is the Russian 
colonist or Sibiriak. His head is quadrangular, his eyes slightly 
more Asiatic than those of his brother in the heart of European 
Russia, his face open, decidedly intelligent, its contours sharp, 
sometimes even pointed. 



The Sibiriak from the north, while quite as energetic and 
bold, is more venturesome, more unsettled, than his brother from 
the southern and more colonised parts of Siberia. The latter 
might be called a southerner, if it were not that even southern 
Siberia is a decidedly northern country. The Sibiriak from the 
south takes his risk more cautiously ; he does not, for instance, 
care to meet a bear unless sure of his rifle and the ability of his 
fellow-huntsmen. Nor does he go fishing too far north, where 
the river is so wide that he loses sight of land. 

But if the southern Sibiriak is less romantic than the northern, 
he is also more cultured, and more patient too, when it is a question 
of prolonged labour. He puts much hard work into the tilling 
of his fields, and he will spend his last penny for artificial fertil 
isers. He is surprisingly up-to-date in his methods. You will 
find him using means of cultivation which were unknown to his 
brother in Russia when he crossed the Urals so recently as three 
or four years ago. Then, too, he reads. You will find one or 
more papers in his home, always a Siberian paper amongst 
them, since the papers printed in Russia for the peasant class no 
longer satisfy him. On a Saturday afternoon he will discuss 
with fervour, but in the moderate, tempered voice of the 
real Sibiriak, the question of the new co-operative scheme to be 
introduced into the new immigrants colony. At the end of 
the discussion the company will be divided for and against the 
introduction of zemstvo into Siberia. 

Perhaps the brother of this second type of village Sibiriak 
lives in town. He may be a doctor or a barrister, or he may be 
a Government official, though this is less probable, since the 
officials are usually from European Russia. But it makes no 
difference to the Sibiriak that his brother or son has a profes 
sional post in town. Nor does it exercise any influence on his 
imagination that his grandfather made a colossal fortune in a 
gold mine, which his father had the bad luck or, as they say 
rather in Siberia, the " good luck " to spend. It does not 
discourage him from starting life anew. You may be sure of 
one thing, that where there were fortunes, they have not been 
spent without leaving some trace behind them, for there is never 
a millionaire in Siberia who is not willing to do something or 


other for his country, such as starting a school, a church, a 
museum, a village circus (that is, a lawn for sports, games, and 
dances). If he cannot afford more he will at least present a 
luxurious banya (bath house) to his village or townsfolk. Some 
times the one man will give all these things and more. 

If you travel from north to south, you will have the good luck 
to meet all varieties of Sibiriak. At the one extreme is the rough 
adventurer who fishes in summer in Nova Zembla or Dickson 
Island, and hunts in winter in the taiga or primeval forest 
of the Antarctic, whilst between times he does the most extra 
ordinary deeds deeds which may be classified either as crimes 
or acts of heroism, according to the light in which they are viewed. 
At the other extreme, in the cultivated villages of the south, or 
in towns with old traditions such as Tomsk, is the most highly 
educated Sibiriak. You will find that not only does he know 
languages, and practise some profession or other as well as any 
Westerner, but that he actually reads daily, weekly, or at least 
monthly, English and American papers ; that he types more 
than he writes by hand ; that he goes for week-ends to his country 
or river-side house like any London city man. Yet you will find 
at the same time that he has no class prejudices such as those born 
in European or even American countries almost invariably have. 

Since these people form an integral part of the Russian 
Empire, they have, like all the other people in the Empire, pass 
ports in which it is indicated whether the person was born in the 
class of the peasants, burghers, gentry, or is " His Excellency." 
In the other parts of the Empire one who knows something of 
Russia can often guess a man s social status without examining 
his passport. But this is not the case in Siberia. You cannot guess 
from a man s appearance whether he has much or little education, 
whether he has money or no money, or whether his genealogical 
tree is long or short. " Why call him a peasant ? " said the 
Sibiriak captain of the little fast steamer running between Kras 
noyarsk and Minusinsk, " he is a Sibiriak," and then he added, by 
way of interesting explanation, " We are all peasants, and none 
of us is a peasant." I do not think any sentence could give a 
better picture of the Sibiriak social structure " All of them are 
peasants, and none is a peasant." 


Of course one must remember that not all the thirty to thirty- 
two million people living in Siberia are to be classified as Sibiriaks, 
Let us consider whom the old settlers, the starojtly or hereditary 
Sibiriaks, would call by this name. The new immigrants are 
called novose/y (novo, new ; selo^ village, or sel, he sat down). 
Sometimes in the Siberian dialect they are said to be simply 
Rossiyane (Russians). There is an old Sibiriak tradition accord 
ing to which the old settler should welcome the new-comer 
by bringing him presents, shaking hands with him, and wish 
ing him the best of fortune on his arrival, " S nouoselem" In 
practice, however, this custom has disappeared within the last 
ten years, especially since the opening of the Trans-Siberian 
Railway has brought in too many settlers for the old to welcome 
the new with presents and handshaking. Indeed, the new 
settlers have ceased to be entirely welcome to the starojil, for his 
fields are now smaller than they were, and they are controlled 
by the Government Colonisation Committee. And for this 
reason, too, since he does not like to limit his demands for large 
fields, nor his energy for great enterprise, the starojil is to an 
ever greater extent leaving the cultivated lands to the new-comer 
and taking possession of fresh lands, emigrating to the Far East, 
as well as to the north and south of the agricultural belt of 
Southern Siberia. 

This is so much the better for the country. Yet at the same 
time one can understand that however broad, democratic, and 
hospitable the starojtl may be, his old motto " S novoselem 
is less frequently used. In the neighbourhood of the railway 
branches it has entirely died out. 

The Sibiriak will not call the hordes of novosely by the name 
he gives himself. They must first get accustomed, not so much 
to the work (for they had as much as they could bear in their old 
homes), but to the new fields, wide horizon, large enterprises, 
creative work, and the inventive spirit which stimulates both the 
inventor and his neighbour. 

There is much truth in the saying that the colonies shelter 
the bravest, strongest, and most enterprising men of the metro 
polis. But more than this may be said of Siberia. We shall be 
far from exaggerating if we give to Siberia a unique place in the 


history of European colonies. The starojtly have a history as 
long as that of the Russians in Novgorod and Moscow. In the 
first place, they consisted of individuals, small groups of adven 
turers, hunters, traders, trader-conquerors. To these people was 
added the unsettled element of Cossacks, who then belonged 
to the free military nation of the Dnieper. Some of the Dnieper 
Cossacks, bolder and more restless than their fellows, grew 
discontented in their islands and the steppe country of Little 
Russia and went farther east looking for new opportunities for 
robbery or conquest. 

Yet it is not strictly correct to regard these few groups 
of Cossacks as the forefathers of the starojtly. It has often 
been said that the chief of the Cossacks, Yermak Timo- 
feevich, was the originator of Russia in Siberia, but the true 
Sibiriak resents this. In their eyes Yermak remains what he was 
most of his life, a bandit and a robber, who did not clear his 
name by asking pardon from the Moscow Government, and 
presenting to the Tzar the part of Siberia he had explored. His 
memory is still held in slight esteem, so, when the tale is told of 
his death by drowning how, as he was trying to swim across the 
River Irtish, his horse was dragged to the bottom by the weight 
of the rich armour which he had received as a present from the 
Moscow Government, the superstitious peasant generally adds 
that the manner of his death was a Divine judgment on the 
manner of his life. History shows that the Sibiriak is right in 
minimising the importance of Yermak, for his role was but in 
cidental. For a couple of centuries before Yermak s time the 
movement of people from Russia to Siberia was going on slowly 
but surely, like the progress of a river forcing for itself a new 
outlet. Whatever may have been the route of the Slavs into 
Europe, that branch of the Eastern Slavs now called Russian 
came to the Volga from the west, and here amalgamated with 
the local Finnish elements. Naturally this process of amalga 
mation spread towards the east, wherever the Finns, particularly 
those called Ugra, were settled along the Volga and the Ob 
and in the Urals. 

We know of other centres of Eurasian mixture, such as Asia 
Minor, the Balkans, Turkestan, and we know that they were the 


result of waves of conquest coming one after another and, in conse 
quence, bringing what conquest always brings circles within 
circles, unassimilated nations within nations, and thus creating 
mosaic, not fusion. But this is not the case with Siberia. 
It is the same Volga country, only if we may be permitted 
the figure at an earlier geological stage, and thus with all the 
characteristics of the Volga country in an exaggerated form. 
The steppes are wider, the forests are denser, the minerals are 
richer, the winds are sharper, the sun more burning, the 
bears fiercer, and the men wilder, though more easily guided 
than any natives of Central and Southern Asia. Thus from the 
very beginning of the Russians in Russia, some of them were 
always moving farther east to a place more open but otherwise 
rather similar to their own home. The conquests of Yermak 
and his successors played no important role in the history of 
colonisation, for the waves of colonists were rolling on independ 
ently. The Cossack fortresses in Siberia (ostrogs) were to enable 
the Cossacks to collect the taxes (yassak) from the natives with 
more success, but the colonists villages were rising simultaneously 
and independently, because the colonists wanted to get furs, 
minerals, and grain from this rich land, and often because they 
wanted to be free and independent. The natives feared the 
Cossacks, and there were fights between them no less severe than 
those described by Longfellow and others who have chronicled 
the desperate resistance of the Red Man. But there is this curious 
difference between this conquest and other colonial conquests 
that the natives did not on the whole rise against or struggle with 
the peaceful colonists. The southern Turko - Mongol natives 
lived side by side with the starojily and mixed with them. Most 
of the northern natives migrated to the wilderness to such a 
distance that it was hard for a European to follow them. 

Curiously enough the Turko-Mongol conquest of Jinghis 
Khan and others only helped the Slavonic blood to penetrate 
along the northern steppes firstly, because it disturbed the order 
of the Siberian native states and weakened them ; secondly, be 
cause it woke in the Russians the feeling that the only way to 
overthrow the Tatar domination was by assimilation. So that 
geographical and historical conditions have helped the Sibiriak 


to become the ideal Eurasian ideal, because he has grown up 
independently of conquest. 

The observer cannot help being struck by the fact that in 
spite of there being so little Aryan blood in the veins of the 
Siberian people, they all, even the rough types of the north, are 
so European in mentality. Here again history, this time more 
recent history, explains the fact. Siberia, especially since the 
time of Peter the Great, has been used as a penal colony. The 
difference, however, between Siberia and any other penal colony, 
for example French Guiana, is enormous. For one thing. 
Siberia, when exiles first settled there, was sparsely but evenly 
populated by emigrants from Russia. Hence the exiles did not 
find themselves alone with none but aborigines. The result 
was that the exiles exercised a great influence over the local 
population through their contact with them. Of course had 
these exiles been only common thieves and bandits like those 
sent to other colonies, the effect would have been deplorable, 
more especially since the vastness of Siberia made any control 
difficult, and the great distance from the seat of government made 
control over the controllers still more difficult. Fortunately 
for this new country, though it sounds rather cruel to say so, 
there was an element among the exiles which created the spirit 
of the country. The political exiles, though always in a great 
minority amongst the exiles themselves, and still more amongst 
the population as a whole, nevertheless originated all that know 
ledge and all that moral and intellectual character that perplexes 
us in the Siberia of to-day. 

In these modern times, when the wireless telegraph, numerous 
railways and steamers bring Siberia into direct communication with 
the centres of culture, the influence of her former teachers is 
dwindling. But the fact that the Sibiriak finds his way around 
the world, is revolutionising his country with American mining 
machinery and English ploughs, that he has in his Siberian 
papers the latest telegrams from all over the world, that he reads 
and thinks more than one would suppose considering that in his 
blood there is less of the Aryan element than in that of any other 
colonials in the world all this is due to his teachers. 

In view of such a history we cannot wonder that during the 


centuries of the starojirs struggles and evolution he has lost the 
characteristics of his prototype. He no longer wears the pictur 
esque dress of his brother in European Russia. Many of the old 
ceremonies are forgotten. His dances have been simplified ; he 
is even much less religious. Yet he belongs to such a new and 
progressive nation that he is a splendid proof that European 
culture can triumph in a Eurasian mixture. He may look less 
picturesque to the poets who specialise in mould and cobweb, but 
for those who like a new and vital organism let us hope there is 
something better to be found in the place of the old forms, and 
that the new forms of society, the new forms of dress, and of 
words, of work and of play, mark a real advance. 

Even his music has changed. Instead of the melodious, but 
sometimes monotonously plaintive, folk-songs of Great or Little 
Russia, there are powerful new songs. These are all choral ; 
they use the whole gamut of tones ; they make the storm a com 
panion, the steppe a friend ; they drown hunger and pain in a 
feeling of communal understanding. Perhaps we can get a truer 
picture of the Sibiriak from the study of his songs than from any 
article such as this. They show that the Sibiriak knows no classes 
and no races, that he sympathises with the yellow labourer, and 
does not shut his heart and imagination when he meets with the 
convict train. They may be political exiles, they may be 
criminals ; the Sibiriak does not inquire about the crime, he sees 
only the awful punishment. 

Translated by ROSA NEWMARCH 1 

The sun o er the wide steppe is sinking, 

And gilding the tall waving grass : 

The chains of the convicts are clinking, 

And raising the dust as they pass. 

They march with slow footsteps, way-weary, 

Their close-shaven heads hanging low, 

With faces grown sullen and dreary, 

And hearts that are burdened with woe. 

They move, and their shadows grow with them, 

While drawn by a pair of old hacks, 

1 By arrangement with the publishers, J. & W. Chester, 1 1 Great Marlborough 
Street, London, W. 


Two light, creaking waggons keep with them, 
The escort rides close at their backs. 

Now, brothers, we ll strike up a chorus, 

And lose half our troubles in song ! 

Forget the hard fate that s before us, 

And sing as we re marching along. 

Their song sets the silence aquiver, 

Their voices ring clear o er the plain, 

They sing of the broad Volga river, 

Or freedom that ne er comes again ; 

They sing of a freedom as boundless 

As the steppes, ripple-marked by each gust. 

The darkness has fallen 

Still faintly I hear their chains clink in the dust. 




MY Chukcha friend, Nuta Nukhva, and I went in canoes up 
the Annui River, which district is characterised by a desolation 
remarkable even in the Kolymsk region. During a week s 
journey we did not see one human habitation. My companion 
was much stronger than I, and more accustomed to these canoes, 
which require much care and dexterity in management to avoid 
capsizing. I became terribly fatigued, and lagged behind more 
and more. Nouta several times turned his boat round (a danger 
ous thing to do), and shouted to me, " Pull harder ! At last 
he took pity on me, and, turning his canoe towards the shore, 
said, Let us have a sleep." Nothing could give me greater 
pleasure, for my hands were very painful, my back aching terribly, 
and my feet were benumbed. The bank was hilly, and from it 
a steep, mountainous cliff rose perpendicularly, its rusty sides 
scantily covered with bushes and heath. Close by was a great 
pile of driftwood, and while my companion made a fire, I wandered 
along the bank of a little stream in search of wild red currants. 
My Chukcha companion could not understand my passion for 
these * sour herbs," as he called them. In his opinion, a man 
must like meat, deer s flesh, fish, yukala, and perhaps the flesh 
of young seal, but how a man could possibly suck herbs like a 
bear was more than he could understand. 

The river wound through many reaches of the rocky bank, 
and the echo was so clear and distinct that a word spoken in a 

1 A race now extinct, which lived by the Annui River, and also, probably, by the 
Kolyma. I believe this is the first article which has ever been written giving any 
information about this now extinct race. Billings secretary, Mr. Sower, barely mentions 
the existence at one time of such a race. 



whisper was repeated in a stentorian bass. The stream by which 
I was walking was also very winding in its course, and the banks 
were soft and swampy. I jumped from one little hillock to 
another, grasping the bushes for support, but once or twice I 
fell into the stagnant water, to the great fright of some young 
grebe, who cried out, flapping their unfledged wings. Follow 
ing a sharp turn of the bank round the rocky cliff, I beheld a 
sight which startled me into an involuntary exclamation. There 
were rows of Arangas * all over the side of the cliff. The beams 
were grey and bent with age. Could it be that these were the 
graves of the Kangienici, and that I was now at the foot of the 
Mountain of the Dead of which I had so often heard at Sredny 
Kolymsk, but which I had always considered to be a fairy tale ? 
There was something especially solemn and awe-inspiring in 
the sight of these strange, long-forgotten graves, lit up by the 
red light of the midnight sun. The sharp cry of the grebe, 
repeated by the echo, made me start nervously. It seemed as 
though from above the beams came a cry warning the dead that 
a Russian had come to disturb their rest. When I returned to 
the spot where we had left the boat, a large fire was burning, the 
kettle was singing, and yukala was being cooked. I spoke to 
Nuta of the graves I had seen, and he said that the Kangienici 
would melt at the appearance of a Russian. Then he told 
me the story of the Kangienici. 

Long, long ago, so long ago that the grandfathers of our 
oldest men men so old that their faces are bearded were not 
yet born, there were many more people living by the Kolyma 
than there are now, for in those days there were no Russians 
there, nor those Russian diseases 2 which not even the most 
powerful Shaman can cure. On the banks of the Annui there 
lived seven tribes of the Kangienici. What grand men they 
were ! In the spring they went to the ocean and fought and 
struggled with the white bear, but with each other they never 
fought. Why, indeed, should they fall upon each other with 
knives when there were plenty of fish in the rivers and enough 
wild animals in the woods for all ? Every year, when, after his 

1 The ancient graves or biers of polar savages. Each body lies on two beams. 

2 Smallpox and syphilis. 



two months sleep the red eye of the sun looked from behind the 
mountain, the Kangienici assembled here. Here lived the 
oldest Shaman, Ilighin, who had seen more often than any one 
living the snow in autumn and the first ice of the year on the 
rivers. His word was law to all, and at the general assembly he 
it was who made offerings to the gods, who forecast the future 
and foretold if the fishing would be good, and if they would have 
many wild deer, and whether the trappers on the ocean shore 
would be overtaken by the blizzard. 

It was early in January, and the beginning of the short polar 
day. The sun which had been hidden for so long now appeared, 
and flooded the snow-covered toondra with his rays. Godlike 
was the sun, with his glowing aureole of rays, on which smaller 
suns sparkled like diamonds. Around the hut of old Ilighin 
were several hundred conical tents of leather, each having for 
greater warmth an inner lining of deer skins, with the fur side to 
the interior of the hut. The Kangienici had come from all the 
camps on this festive occasion, and even from the Far East came 
the hunters from the shore of the Pacific Ocean. The young 
girls were in holiday dress, and wore large breastplates, made of 
rounded discs of metal linked together, over tunics embroidered 
with deer sinews dyed in various colours. The girls walked 
about hand -in -hand, exchanging remarks about the young 
hunters. The old women, mostly blind (because the evil spirit 
had eaten away their eyes), sang improvised songs of the years 
to come, when the young people would gather together again 
at holiday times, and see the sun, but the old would be lying out 
on the Mountain of the Dead. Several young hunters were 
engaged in rubbing a large heavy walrus skin with bear s fat, 
in order to make it more supple and elastic, for use in their 
favourite holiday game which was played thus : A youth lay 
down on the skin, which was firmly held by eight hunters ; he 
was then tossed up, and his skill consisted in so turning in the 
air as to come to the ground on his feet. 

The sun had already risen, but the solemnities had not yet 
begun. All were waiting for the arrival of Ilighin s grandsons, 
the brave hunters who had travelled on the last ice of spring to 


the distant source of the Kolyma, and were now expected to 

" Here they come ! " They are coming ! cried joyous 
voices on all sides. And on the slope of the hill appeared a file 
of sledges, on which the riders were seated astride, the harnessed 
dogs barking in joyful greeting of their native place. The new 
comers were quickly surrounded, for they must have much to 
tell. They had seen Lamuts and Yukagir. But sad and worn 
were the frost-bitten faces of the hunters. 

: Why have so few returned ? Seven went away and only 
three are here ! Where are the others ? 

Silently, without replying to these anxious questions, the 
hunters unharnessed the dogs, unloaded the sledges, and went 
into the hut, where a bright fire was burning. 

What have you to tell us ? " said old Ilighin. 

: We have nothing to tell you." 

[ What have you heard ? 

: We have heard nothing." 

: What have you seen ? 

: We have seen nothing." 

This was the usual formula. Then, having removed their fur 
coats and sat down by the fire, the eldest grandson began the tale. 

* Our journey brought us misfortune, grandfather. The 
Lamuts now have a new illness, of which no one has ever heard 
before. Because of it the body is covered with blisters, and it 
burns and rots away in three days. A strange tribe from the 
west had come and brought this illness with them. No one 
could understand their language, no Lamut, no Yukagir, no 
Chukcha ; but they called themselves Sakha (Yakuts). What 
is this tribe we do not know. The Lamuts said that these people 
were in great fear, and had told terrible tales of the horrors that 
had happened in the west, beyond the mountain of Tass-Hayata. 
The new illness killed our four comrades. And also, 
grandfather, there was a strange tree in the mountains such 
as none of us had ever seen before. Its bark was grey, and bitter 
as gall, and its leaves continually trembled, 1 as did the fugitive 

1 The aspen tree. There is a legend among the savages that this tree only makes its 
appearance before the coming of Russians. 


Sakha. Here, grandfather, is some of the bark ; we brought 
it for you." 

Ilighin was greatly troubled as he listened to this story. Then 
he attentively examined the bark of the unknown tree, and became 
lost in meditation. A terrible new illness which burns and 
destroys men in three days ; an unknown tribe flying in fear 
from a terrible conqueror ; and, finally, this strange, bitter 
bark ! All these were signs of the will of the Spirit of the Moun 
tain. But what did it all portend ? Silence fell upon all in the 
hut ; silent even were the little ones, who crawled on the floor, 
clutching pieces of frozen fish in their tiny fists. No sound was 
heard but the crackling of the fire in the chimney corner. At 
last Ilighin spoke. 

Friends, there will soon be a great change, whether for 
good or evil I do not know. I shall call upon my guardian spirit, 
and ask him to take me on high in the western heavens, and there 
I shall inquire of the gods." Ilighin spoke thus, and then lay 
down in the corner on a white bearskin, and spoke no more that 
evening. All were very quiet and downcast ; the girls especially 
were sorry that this bad news had come on the holiday, for the 
festivities, perhaps, would be abandoned. The oldest women, 
the Shaman s usual assistants, now began to put everything in 
readiness for the mystic service the drum, the sacred robe 
covered with symbolic signs and tokens, the most important 
among which were a disc of mammoth ivory on the breast, 
and a figure whose hands were joined together, as were also 
the feet ; also a fish made of bone hanging by a strap from 
the back of the robe ; this last was the bait for the guardian 

Meanwhile the last sun-rays of the two hours polar day were 
dying. The girls and the young hunters wandered about 

" Good-bye to holidays ! Good-bye to merry games ! Good 
bye to races ! Good-bye to tossing ! Good-bye to everything ! 
And what more will Ilighin say ? 

The fire on the hearth was dying ; the flames flickered up 
for an instant, then died out, and the logs fell apart into embers, 
on which shone a faint blue flame. Darkness gradually closed 


in from the curved walls of the hut, and enveloped all save a 
narrowing ring round the fireplace. When all the embers were 
dead some one raked them out, and scattered cinders over them ; 
the ring closed and complete darkness filled the hut. So darkens 
the sky when the north wind blows from the ocean. From a 
faint rustling sound it was evident that Ilighin had moved from 
his position to the middle of the floor. The occasional cry of 
the mountain-hawk sounded outside the hut, the plaintive call 
of the seagull was heard, and some strange bird uttered a hoarse 
cry. Then, like lightning flashing from a dark cloud, like sudden 
thunder, came the sound of the drum, and, as though heralding 
a tempest, waves of sound filled the hut sound that expressed 
the cries of a thousand birds fluttering through the dark, cloudy 
sky, in terror of the approaching tempest. Louder and louder 
rolled the thunder of the drum, and convulsive shudders ran 
through the nerves of those who listened ; while, above the 
mingled sounds of the tempest and cries of terrified birds, the 
voice of the Shaman chanted : 

* Mighty master, fulfil all my desires ! Grant all my re 
quests ! And faint, scarcely audible sounds came from some 
where afar off, for in the hut was the body of the Shaman, but 
his spirit had " gone forth on the sound of the drum to the western 
heavens, to the top of the mountain where there is no day, but 
continual night, where there is always mist, and where the moon 
is but a thin crescent." There dwells the terrible god Chapak, 
the spirit of all diseases. Suddenly a terrifying sound struck like 
a knife into the breast of each one present. There was the clash 
of iron, and the sound of a body falling heavily to the floor. 
The Shaman s assistants quickly threw fresh logs on the fire, 
and soon a crackling river of flame filled the low chimney corner. 
In the light that filled the hut the Shaman was seen lying un 
conscious on the floor. That was a bad sign, and all hearts sank. 
The assistants began to rattle bone castanets as they pronounced 
the sacred formula ! 

The heavy clouds roll. Chapak is coming, terrible as a 
homeless bear roaming in winter. Awake, Shaman ! " 

Ilighin arose, pale and dull-eyed, and began to turn round 
and round slowly before the fire, his long matted hair falling 


on his shoulders. Faster and faster he revolved, the onlookers 
gasping and holding their breath, their heads becoming giddy 
as they watched the rapid twisting movements of the old man. 
His eyes were bloodshot, and his lips were flecked with foam. 
With wonderful agility, considering his age, the Shaman leaped 
more than a yard into the air, the bone disc on his robe clattering 
with his wild movements. At last the climax of his exaltation 
came, and he began to utter incomprehensible words, " speaking 
khorro language," as the savages call it. All those in the hut 
listened terror-struck to the harsh sounds which seemed to tear 
the throat of the Shaman as he uttered them. Suddenly he 
was silent and stood motionless, holding his hand to his ear as 
though listening ; then he sank slowly to the floor. All hearts 
sank at the anticipation of evil. Ilighin sobbed bitterly. " Oh, 
friends," he said at last, slavery and death await us in the 
future ! Soon, from the west, to the shores of our river will 
come the mighty conquerors, who will make our lives hard and 
bitter as the bark of that strange tree which the hunters brought 
to-day. None will be spared. Those of us who do not fall at 
the hands of the conquerors will be destroyed by this strange 
illness which is burning the people of Kolyma." 

Even the bravest of the hunters paled and bent their heads 
as they listened ; the women wept aloud ; and despair, born in 
this tent, quickly spread throughout the camp. 

Winter passed. The sun no longer set. The bushes put 
forth their new green leaves, and the mosquitoes forced the deer 
from the marshy shore of the river to the rocky shore. At this 
season the shores of the Annui teem with life : long guttural 
chants are heard from the fishermen seated in their boats ; and 
the young hunters light wood fires on the beach to drive away 
the mosquitoes, and then, to the sound of music, they dance in 
pairs round the fires, imitating the young deer in spring. But 
now no sounds of song and dance were heard, no laughter and 
merry voices, and even the fishing was abandoned. 

Why think about next winter when no one knows what 
will happen to-morrow ? 

Once more the Kangienici assembled in the hut of Ilighin, 
but not for merry-making. The conquerors were near. Already 


they were on the Kolyma, and each day brought news, more 
and more terrible. 

" Their faces are covered with hair." 

" The people from the west carry in their hands thick sticks, 
which send thunder and death far and near." 

" Their knives are made of a strange shining substance 
which goes of itself into the body." 

" The hearts of the conquerors are as hard as their knives ; 
they have no mercy or pity for any one." 

" They torture the people to make them tell where they have 
hidden their rare furs, and to tell them where are the glittering 
sands of which the Kangienici have never heard." 

So had spoken the people who had fled from the shores of 
the Kolyma, and now the unhappy hunters who had returned 
asked the Shaman what they should do. 

" Friends," began the Shaman, when all were assembled. 
He wore his sacred robes and held his tambourine in his hands. 
" Friends, our gods cannot help us now. The conquerors have 
come from the west to find their gods, which they esteem more 
than anything else in the world, and nothing will stop them. 
And, alas for us, their gods are here among us ! 

And the Shaman took from under his robes a beautiful and 
rare black fox skin, through whose long, untrimmed fur grey 
threads showed here and there. 

Let us, then, ask the gods of the conquerors not to allow 
them to kill our hunters, nor torture our old people and children ; 
therefore, let those who have these gods in their huts bring them 
here. And think not to hide them, for the people from the 
west will certainly find them, though you should swallow 

All the people brought skins of various animals : sable, grey 
beaver, coal-black fox, and the fur of the fire-fox, from which, 
when shaken, showers of sparks fall. This skin is the most 
valuable of all, and is worth a hundred beaver skins, for such a 
fox can be found perhaps only once in a hundred years. All 
these furs were placed in a huge wicker basket, and taken to the 
hill, where a festival was held in honour of the gods of the con 
querors. The basket was smeared with the blood of a newly 


killed snow-white doe, and upon the basket were placed cakes 
of deer s flesh and fat. The Kangienici mingled joyous laughter 
with rivers of tears. The hunters voices arose in merry song, 
then suddenly trembled and broke in grief. The sun had gone 
from the north to the east, and the cargoose were fluttering 
about the river when the sad ceremony ended. 

Let us now prepare the place of honour for the gods of the 
conquerors," said Ilighin. 

To the east of the camp was a large lake, always frozen over, 
and even in hot weather the ice only melted a little at the edges, 
and there the pike came to play in the sun. In this lake dwelt 
Ah-i-sit, the * Mother Protectress," the beneficent goddess of 
the Kangienici. Clothed in a rich coat of striped sable, bordered 
with wolverine, and with beaver hood and knee-pads of wolf 
skin, Ah-i-sit often came from the lake to help women in difficult 
childbirth. Also she often came to help them to take the deer 
across the river and to assist the hunters in the chase. The 
basket of furs was lowered into an ice-hole in the lake, and doubt 
less Ah-i-sit, being so good, would make the conquerors gods 
kinder, now that they had been brought to her as guests. 

But what was that ? Every one started. " Was it 
thunder ? No ; the sky was quite clear. " Is it possible ? " 
Shrieks of deadly fear came from the camp where the women 
and children had been left. There was no doubt. The indefin 
able horror had come ! No one thought of resistance. Can 
one stop the blizzard, or the north wind in autumn ? A wild, 
panic-stricken flight ensued, and the people fled like a herd of 
deer pursued by wolves. The prophecy of Ilighin was fulfilled. 
There are no dwellings now on the Annui. Death reigns now 
where once life was like a bubbling spring, and of the Kangienici 
are left only the graves on the mountain-side. Those whom the 
conquerors spared were destroyed by the deadly disease which 
they had brought with them. The " little old red woman " 
was drunk with the blood of the people ; and now every five 
years she comes to intoxicate herself again, but it is to the con 
querors themselves that she comes, and Ilighin sometimes comes 
out of the earth to show her a small hamlet where she can find 
much blood to drink. She drives madly through the country, 


in her sledge drawn by dogs with blood-red fur, and so she will 
continue to do until the shores of the Kolyma shall be as desolate 
as the shores of the Annui. 

This was the story told to me by Nuta Nukhva. 



THERE is much in England that I appreciate. The cosy green 
little island with its fascinating, fresh, rain-washed, dainty land 
scape appeals to me. I like English people : I admire their 
capacity to " make time " and their true kindness, touched with 
a business-like spirit. I have often enjoyed the restfulness of 
English life in times of peace : it used to lend itself so beautifully 
to psychological observation ; and I admire the awakening of 
England to-day an awakening shown not only in war work, 
but in the general attitude of men and women, and especially of 
the younger generation of the educated classes, with its rapidly 
growing free mind, with its searching analysis of the old " proper 
ways to do it " (whatever the it may be !), and with its breezy, 
humorous vein. 

All these aspects of England I love. Even the famous 
English reserve and lack of temperament as they contribute 
to steadiness in the war I have come to appreciate. Yet . . . 
why is it my heart gives a leap when I catch a fragment of a 
Russian phrase somewhere in Oxford Street ? . . . Why is it 
that so many sides of English life instantly suggest to my heart 
and memory contrasts in the land of my birth ? . . . 

Sleet and rain mingled in one unpleasant wetness drive me 
along the London streets. But my mind is not in London. I 
can see myself and other students of the Petrograd Conservatoire 
emerge from a lovely blizzard at the entrance porch on a Decem 
ber morning. We are hurrying to our orchestra class. We 
crowd into the spacious vestibule. The snow shaken by the 
porter off all our fur coats makes a slippery mess on the floor, 
but no one pays heed to it. We wipe the wet from our fiddle 
boxes and the day of student life begins. What student life ! 



. . . With Anton Rubinstein tearing the baton out of the hands 
of our conductor, who is still under the influence of his sweet 
morning dreams (the time is only 9 A.M.), and turning us into 
inspired musicians before the first line is played ! . . . With 
Chaikovsky coming to the rehearsal of his opera produced by 
our boys and girls. ... A day saturated with art, comradeship, 
work, subtle flirting, and fine ambition ! 

A party of us at a theatre or at a concert does not wind the 
day up finally. After that, about midnight, we proceed to the 
dwelling-place of some one of us his or her " digs," consisting 
of one room and we have more fine music, throbbing with all 
the impressions of our young life, more whole-hearted singing, 
more discussions about everything under the sun or moon, and 
more interesting love-making. . . . 

Now that I watch the women s movements in England I feel 
involuntarily surprised at the intensity of nerve force wasted by 
the English woman in her efforts to assert herself : at her attitude 
towards men, her exclusively women s clubs, women s magazines, 
women s meetings. 1 ... I listen to the ever-present talk about 
woman s rights, and my mind flies back to Russia, where we 
have finished with that talk some fifty years ago, and where 
woman s life has been ever since so naturally interlaced with that 
of man, both in study and in practical social work. We do not 
trouble much about political representation. 

Especially in the practice of medicine are woman s work 
and man s work closely associated in Russia. Our women 
doctors have been in the ranks of their men colleagues for many 
a year. These women doctors are often mere girls, not more 
than twenty-two or twenty-three, or younger still. Nevertheless, 
they flew by the hundred to cholera- or famine-stricken dis 
tricts, snatching the victims from the hands of Death, and them 
selves not infrequently dying from the infection. Sex had little 
chance to be remembered in the midst of the struggle with those 
scourges ! And now, in the War, it would be impossible to draw 
a line anywhere between the activities of men and those of women 

1 There exist some unpretentious " women s clubs " in Russia but they accept 
men as their members ! 


There they are, all together at the dressing-stations and 
hospitals at the very front equally well educated, equally 
efficient, equally throbbing with compassion, equally strong to 
work through endless days and nights, without showing any sign 
of exhaustion which might take them away from their posts. 

This natural, matter-of-course equality is felt amongst the 
peasantry too. Sixty years ago our serf-owners used to flog the 
" souls," i.e. the peasants belonging to them, and the embittered 
men, in their turn, used to beat their womenfolk. In those 
days girls and women worked on the fields belonging to their 
masters side by side with their men, tortured alike by both their 
owners." Nowadays all traces of serfdom, of flogging, and of 
the resultant numbness of the woman s mind have disappeared, 
but her work on the fields remains, more efficient than ever. 
Through centuries she has learned her work often making a 
real art of it, and it has always been shoulder to shoulder with 
the men of her village. And those men, their intellect no longer 
darkened by the knout or vodka, can now appreciate the help 
with which they could not dispense, and without which the 
agricultural world of the vast land would have suffered an 
indescribable blow in the course of this War. 

Women form no class apart in Russia as they appear to form 
in this country. When I come across a woman worker or a 
woman social leader in England, I know that I shall immediately 
see a group of other women round her, pushing through 
together," as it were, and looking out sharp that no man should 
turn up and spoil their achievements (I do not refer to the present 
Government work of the women, of course). I used to watch 
them in some Women s Clubs, appearing so busy, so independent, 
so deeply interested in their special women s plans and revelations, 
and I would instinctively look around the crowded rooms . . . 
to rest my eyes on some man ! 

This isolation of English women always makes my Russian 
heart ache : I want to see men fellow-workers in their midst ! 
I fail to grasp how it is that in England neither men nor women 
seem to understand how much happier it feels to work everywhere 
together. The Englishman s attitude in this respect is as strange 
to us as is the Englishwoman s. Instead of sharing the joy of 


work in common, they preserve an attitude of reserve towards 
each other, and each side keenly watches the opposite one, with 
condescension, envy, disdain, or at least irony sometimes even 
with enmity and always in the spirit of rivalry. 

I shall never forget how confused (for England !) I felt when 
faced one day by a simple question naively asked by a party of 
sixty Russian village school-teachers, men and women, whom I 
was showing round Oxford. ... I was carefully avoiding the 
subject of the precise position of women students, when a phrase 
escaped me, something about their not sharing in all the privileges 
of student life, as known to us. ... I shall really never forget 
the tone of guileless, deep seriousness and the expression of grave 
interest on the faces pressing round me in the High Street, and 
the brief query, " Why ? put with perfect assurance that my 
answer would disclose some mystery of the high wisdom of the 
West which would completely explain such an extraordinary 
situation ! . . . " Why ? ... Nor shall I ever forget the 
torrent of indignation poured forth on my avowal that neither 
in the work nor in the fun of their bachelor lives did girl students 
freely mix with their men colleagues. 

And again and again my mind flies back to Russia ! No 
standing apart there, and no one dreaming of drawing a line by 
regulations. The great common work for the native land is not 
hindered either by the spirit of rivalry, which is replaced by 
comradeship, or by the atmosphere of romanticism, which, of 
course, often exists. 

Quite a dreadful impression lurks in my brain, namely, that 
the English woman social worker fears and despises the romantic 
element. Am I right there, I wonder ! ... If I am, then 
only the individualism of nationalities can account for quite a 
different attitude with us Russians : we neither dread nor seek 
romance as we work side by side with our men. Both things 
are equally natural to us the delight of comradeship and of 

Russia loves the natural. And our best friends over here 
must understand this by now, for they so amiably excuse our 
very Russian passions and longings. 



BETWEEN ten and eleven o clock in the evening your hostess 
looks at the clock. This is not a hint that you have stayed too 
long. * I think, perhaps," she remarks, getting up from her 
chair, that we ought to be going. I want you to come with 
me and see a charming friend of mine, whom I feel sure you will 
like." And she leads the way from the room. 

In the hall you put on your wrap, your fur coat, your goloshes, 
and your thick gloves. A sledge stands at the door. Snow is 
falling, and the blanket or sheepskin which protects the seat 
where you will sit is as damp as a napkin in a cheap restaurant. 
An icy wind blows up the long Petrograd street, which is almost 
as dark as the streets of London. 

The lady gets into the sledge (the seat is sodden with wet), 
you squeeze yourself in beside her, and then the izvozchik clucks 
to his lean horse, and away you go " through the darkness and the 
dance of snowflakes " with a wind cutting at your cheeks like a 
razor s edge. T.he sledge is like the stern of such a row-boat as 
you see on the Serpentine, and it is mounted on a construction 
of iron which resembles a door-scraper. 

After ten or fifteen minutes of a difficult conversation, which 
fills your mouth with snow, you stop before a palace on the Quay, 
and your hostess, who is a Princess, pays the izvozchik, refusing 
to allow you to do so, and approaches the door of the palace 
which is already open. 

Three servants, one of whom is bearded and none of whom 
is clean shaven, receive you and take your outer garments. You 
leave them to put these things away, and ascend the beautiful 
staircase alone with your hostess. On the first floor another 
servant bows before you, and indicates by a gesture the open 



door of an apartment. You enter to find yourself in a very 
impressive but uninhabited room. You cross it to a door on 
the other side, open the door yourself, and your hostess, who is 
fast becoming your late hostess, goes before you unannounced 
into a room which is dim with shaded lights and animated with 
a number of people. 

On a table, which is crowded with dishes of the softest 
sugar cakes, mixed up with tea-cups and plates, is an enormous 
samovar, whose silver catches the scarlet flicker from a curious 
and enormous fire, half open-grate and half stove, in which logs 
are burning. Beside this table is a woman who becomes your new 
hostess, and who rises with open arms to receive your late hostess. 
Ah, my sweet Sophie, how delighted I am to see you." 

There are other people in the big room drinking tea and 
eating cakes. They glance at the Englishman with a frank 
and charming interest, as he waits to be presented to his new 
hostess. The men have risen, and there are signs that the little 
groups will now break up and reconstitute themselves afresh. 

Your hostess, who is a Countess famous for her beauty, 
makes you welcome in a very delightful manner, and in English 
so perfect that you find it difficult to think of her as a Russian. 
Your late hostess, the Princess, is a most lovable woman, who 
wears a high black dress, elastic-sided boots with flat heels, and 
her hair in a walnut on the top. Your new hostess is the finished 
product of contemporary fashion. 

You are introduced to the most distinguished guest in the 
room, a brilliant professor of history. He speaks of the War, 
and although he is the most loyal of Russians and would be the 
first to denounce a premature peace, he laments to you the fall 
of Germany as a clearing-house of culture. I write my books 
in German as well as in Russian," he explains ; and I know 
that the German edition will be translated into many other 
languages, in fact that I shall have the world for my auditorium. 
But now all that is passed. It will never come again in my time. 
One must regret it. I am very sad when I think of it." You 
drink your tea, eat your cakes, and then, still drinking more 
tea, light your cigarette and give yourself up to conversation. 
It seems that the night is only just beginning. You are enchanted 


by the beautiful room, interested in the very engaging people, 
and when you leave at two o clock in the morning you feel that 
it is rather unreasonable for so delightful a party to disrupt. " It 
will never come again. . . . One must regret it. I am very 
sad when I think of it." 

An English friend of mine in Petrograd was taken after 

dinner one night to such a reception as I have attempted to 

sketch. At twelve o clock one of the Russians said to him, 

: Would you care to see some jumping ? You are fond of horses, 

and I can show you some particularly good jumping." " I 

shall be delighted," said the Englishman, " when is it to be ? 

If you will come now, I will drive you there in my car," 

answered the Russian. And they drove away to a manege, 

where, under very bright electric lights, a jumping exhibition 

was in progress. 

Readers of Mr. Rothay Reynolds delightful books on Russia, 
perhaps the best books in English on the social life of that great 
people, will know that these after-dinner receptions, these charm 
ing salons of the samovar are a settled habit of polite society. 
The Russian, like the German, makes a good deal of the night ; 
but unlike the German, his nights are intellectual, or athletic, 
rather than bacchanal. I remember very well my experiences 
in Berlin, when I seldom got to bed before five or six in the 
morning, and then disgusted. But when I look back on my 
visit to Russia, I am almost inclined to say that my after-dinner 
memories are among the happiest of my recollections. 

The best Russian society is intellectual, not intellectual in 
the tiresome sense of the new-cultured, but pleasantly, naturally, 
and charmingly intellectual. Men and women in Russia are 
not merely interested in literature and art, but literature and 
art for them are movements in the great stream of thought which 
is the evolution of the human race. I never met a single pedant 
in Petrograd or Moscow. But I never met a dolt. Whether 
one is talking to a lady with elastic-sided boots and almost a 
provincial appearance of dowdiness, or to a very wonderful 
creature, whose every detail of dress is an expression of beauty, 
always one encounters intelligence, sympathy, and a genuine 
interest in the affairs of mankind. 


It was at one of these after-dinner receptions that a drawing- 
room full of people listened to a prince who told us that when 
he regarded Russian culture from the footstool of God he could 
not assure himself that its triumph, at the cost of such a hideous 
War, was part of the divine plan. He entered a plea for modesty, 
for humility, even for national contrition. It was also at one of 
these receptions that a Russian lady answered my admiration 
for the tenderness in Russian religion by a vigorous analysis of 
the shortcomings in that religion and an almost passionate eulogy 
of the moral foundations in the Anglican system. All these 
conversations deeply interested rooms full of fashionable people. 
I recall with particular interest the conversation of a Russian 
gentleman who is a very earnest member of the Duma. He 
had so lugubrious a face that he might have sat for a portrait 
of Don Quixote. He was tall and lean, hairy and untidy. His 
eyebrows were high in his wrinkled forehead, his little points 
of eyes peeped out of the slits formed by the lids with a melancholy 
which was like a funeral, his nose spread across his face as though 
to express the desolation of depression, and the end of his ragged 
beard curved upwards in a fashion which emphasized the turned- 
down melancholy of his mouth. 

He sat on a little upright chair in the middle of the drawing- 
room, cutting up a pear on a plate in his lap, and eating it with a 
thoroughness of mastication which was not entirely soundless. The 
length of his neck and the size of his boots would have jumped 
to the eyes of a caricaturist. All of a sudden he looked up and 
directed his gaze to me I was sitting on a sofa against the wall 
and began to speak to me across the intervening space. 

It is very easy," he said, to form wrong impressions of 
Russia. Allow me to hope that you will be careful. Allow me 
also to remind you of Puskhin s saying that Russia has two faces, 
a European and an Asian face, and that she turns the European 
face to Asia and the Asian face to Europe." 

He then proceeded to give me his own views of Russia, and 
I think he spoke for nearly an hour in a manner which was as 
thoughtful as it was interesting. Certainly he held the attention 
of the room. He told me among other things that Russia s 
danger is political. He fears absorption into political excite- 


ments. What she needs more than anything else, and certainly 
as a preparation for political change, is a social conscience. She 
must feel the passion of sympathy. She must desire for herself 
a more beautiful existence. She must be aware in herself of a 
horror for what is unaesthetic and unscientific in her domestic 
life. There is in Russian character, he said, a fatal passivity, 
an almost unshakable acquiescence. The real work of the 
reformer is to make Russia ashamed of present conditions, and 
to rouse her to the fact that such a dull thing as sanitary science 
is one way of escape to conditions which would be more civilised. 

Such conversations as these remain in the mind. And I 
conclude from my experience that the Russians are not only 
the most charming people in the world (I feel they are nearer 
to the English than any other nation), but that they are singularly 
modest, earnest, and intelligent. 

It is quite certain that after the War there will be a great 
opportunity for developing our trade relations with Russia. I 
pray with all my heart that the representatives of English trade 
may be men of some culture and of great sympathy, and that 
they may feel in their souls for the least of bagmen has a soul 
that their business is not to exploit Russia, after the fashion of 
the Germans, but to establish an exchange of merchandise 
which shall be of real service to both countries. 

Our best friends among the statesmen of Russia are interested 
in this great matter, and a little anxious that England should 
not make mistakes. 

Let it be taught in all our schools and proclaimed in all our 
newspapers, that Russia is a highly civilised, deeply religious, 
and essentially democratic nation. (We in England have demo 
cratic forms, but we have not even begun to get, what Russia 
has received as a first truth of existence, the democratic spirit.) 
To capture the markets of such a people is a small matter ; to 
win their confidence and affection would be not only a master 
stroke in politics a stroke which may ensure, as Mr. Sazonov 
hopes, the peace of the world but an assurance to ourselves 
that we are in truth a great and an honourable nation. 






I dedicate this poem to my friends ALEXANDRA VASILEVNA HOLSTEIN and 

Five nails flame in the horse-shoe through 
the running of the swift horse. 


BEFORE steel chains were thought of, in that prime 
When whips and bridles were not yet invented, 
Star unto star sent forth its voice contented 

Through the vast silences of age-long Time. 

On endless meadows, stretching far away, 
Horses of flaming loveliness were grazing, 
Their unshod hoofs a gentle murmur raising, 

As when the cloud falls on the lake in spray. 

The hunters with their flinty arrows ran 
Pursuing them. Though youth seemed all to sweeten, 
Those horses were in thousands shot and eaten. 

Yet ever glorified will be the man 
Who first sprang on their backs ; all will admire 
Him who first caught and tamed those waves of fire. 

Was it some wily youth to whom the lot 
Was given, long ages since, of surely knowing 



How best to aim the noose ? the lasso throwing 
So that the rearing colt fell in its knot ? 

The beast s young voice rose high against the ravage ; 
The youthful beast was stunned, and all perplexed. 
His stalwart body by the youth was vexed 

And fitted for long years of thraldom savage. 

Or did an older man first do the deed ? 
Stretching himself along some sloping boulder, 
Screened from the horse s eyes by its great shoulder, 

He glided on its back with snake-like speed ; 
And like a wraith, grasping the mane and flying, 
Stopped breathless at the verge before them lying. 


Ten thousand stallions pastured on those plains, 
And thirteen thousand mares, with beauty glowing ; 
While from the steppes and from the meadows blowing 

The wind would whistle through their wayward manes. 

All raven-black the fiery stallions there 
And red the mares. Around, on cliff-tops hoary, 
Great eagles sat. The cornfield s wealth of glory 

In the mind s darkness roused no thought or care. 

But was it dark ? Twas but the dawning red 
For every heart ; those ages now are ended. 
From other herds its way a white horse wended 1 

Towards this land of burning passions led ; 
When sudden all the horses started neighing 
Like thunder, or the rush of waves dismaying. 

1 And I saw, and behold a white horse : and he that sat on him had a bow ; and 
a crown was given unto him : and he went forth conquering and to conquer. 
Revelation vi. 2. 



Before those faces all assembled there, 
Before the red-black river of those horses, 
Where night and endless fires pursued their courses 

Through Time s unrusted ages, fresh and fair ; 

Where love was so intense that it was pain, 
And heated pleasures warmed the blood to fire, 
And glorious freedom waited on desire 

An age that never shall return again ; 

Where, chasing one another as in play, 
Black eyes were on each other sidelong glancing, 
With quivering, smoking nostrils all advancing, 

Whence came that horse that filled them with dismay r 
Was it dread news he brought them ? Fear, or wonder 
That parted them and made them rush asunder ? 


How blows the wind still, with its rhythm lame ! 
How bends above the steppe the arch of heaven ! 
But the old dream is to death s silence given ; 

Earth soon forgot the bright mirage s flame. 

How the wind whispers, raising up the dust ! 
But the chain s golden links we break and scatter ; 
The soul has grown to love its den of matter, 

The limits of each field it would adjust. 

And in that land of passion, where the white 
With red and black its colour interlaces, 
The roads grow silent ; altered are the faces. 

Only the hour of danger and the fight 
When neighing steeds and flaming fires assemble, 
Earth s ancient glory faintly can resemble. 



BY A. F. KONI, Academician and Member of the 
Russian Council of State 


COMPASSION and pity for mankind run like a crimson thread 
through the whole range of the works of Pushkin ; it may even 
be said that understanding of and sympathy with human suffering 
distinguish the best of his works. This may perhaps seem in 
consistent with his praise of the glories of war." But the 
representation of Pushkin as the bard of this " sombre glory 
is only one of the many misrepresentations of this great author. 
Never was he an admirer of war as an instrument for the attain 
ment of glory or for the satisfaction of personal vanity. His 
heart and his intellect protested against those intellects whose 
lack of a certain moral element has sometimes cost humanity so 
dear. Almost all of his poems dedicated to war belong to the 
twenties of the last century, a period when all around him was 
still full of the holy memories of 1812 and of the glamour of the 
struggle just waged in the cause of national independence, and 
of the position won by the age-long efforts enabling the 
Russian nation to prove its lofty destiny. His later writings 
were evoked by the impression produced by the revolt of the 
Greeks against the Turkish yoke, and by the succeeding conflict 
which had taken so strong a hold upon the hearts of nations and 
of governments. And in neither of these cases did the issues at 
stake concern the acquisition of empty military glory ; on them 
hung the essential conditions of two nations lives in the one 
case the fate of the Fatherland, in the other that of the " land 



of heroes and of gods." * Arise, O Greece," cries Pushkin, 
" rend the fetters of thy slavery to the strains of the fiery songs of 
Tyrtaeus and of Byron." Nor can the pictures of battles painted 
by Pushkin be taken as evidence of a taste on his part for what 
the famous physician Pirogov calls " the traumatic epidemic." 

Dispassionately and impartially, with the cold exactness of 
a practised battle-painter, he paints the tragic picture of the 
carnage of Poltava, " where mingled together on every side shouts 
and the gnashing of teeth, the neighing of horses groans and 
death and hell." Herein he sees a sacrifice indispensable to 
the fulfilment of Russia s destiny " the Northern Empire s 
grim path to European citizenship," through a victory over a 
neighbour enviously and arrogantly hindering her peaceful 
development, even as another at the present time, and carrying 
war into her interior provinces. The tattered shreds of these 
victorious standards were dear to him as the tokens of the 
bounds set imperiously to him who should wish to limit the political 
independence of Russia or to take possession of her territory ; 
dear too as having waved over the Russian soldier, in whose 
unbounded valour Pushkin noted with delight the absence of 
rancour against the foe and of boastfulness in victory. Glory, 
in his own words, did not allure him, " threatening with blood 
stained finger," nor did " the sport of war " which " it is impossible 
to love " captivate him in any wise. If in the year 1821 the desire 
to sally forth to the war did show itself in him, it was only because 
he thought " that in the grim waiting for death he might dull 
the anguish of the thoughts that beset him," thoughts which were 
shrivelling him up as if he were " the victim of some cruel poison." 

Yet he felt too that thus, perchance, there might be born in 
him the blind passion for glory, the wild gift of heroes." A 
courageous waiting for death and the longing to die for the 
Fatherland qualities which may cause us to envy him * who 
passes by on his way to death " these, rather than thirst for 
the destruction of others, for the capture of their territory, or 
their direct or indirect enslavement, appeal to Pushkin as the 
indispensable conditions of war. 

Napoleon, in the guise of an * Emperor enthroned on 
sepulchres," was hateful to him. In his reflections upon the 


" heavy doom of war are heard not the sounds of frenzied 
rapture over the victory which has ended an ancient quarrel, 
but the strains of reconciliation. * In wrestling, the fallen is 
safe " ; he felt no need to scan the wrathful countenance of the 
national Nemesis or to lend an ear to the songs of injury from the 
lyre of Russian bards. As mature age came upon him, only 
pictures of peace and of the inward life of man could engross 
his mind, and he listened eagerly to the words of Mitskevich, 
telling of the time to come when nations shall forget their 
strife and join in one great family." It is significant that the 
celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pushkin, 
held in 1899, took place at the time when, on the other side of 
Europe, in the quiet capital of Holland, was appearing the faint 
dawn of the realisation of that lofty hope. It matters not if the 
sky above these dawning rays be now covered by the thunder 
clouds of an unheard-of war, that clouds of self-interest and 
cruelty, of obstinacy, misunderstanding, insincerity and guile 
still hide it as with a mourning veil from mankind s wistful eyes. 
Enough that these rays have shone, for when the light of dawn 
has once appeared the sun will surely rise. Such is the law of 
physical nature, and such too is the law of nature in the moral 

A. F. KONI. 


TO-DAY it is very difficult to write stories. People ask for them 
and ask for them, but are never satisfied. If you think out 
something like fact, like something contemporary and authentic, 
then they say : " Why ever invent something that resembles 
reality, when one can have reality itself ? This is quite true. 
And if you write something which is fictitious, again it doesn t 
do. " What sort of author is this, who, while worlds are shaking, 
invents imaginary happenings ? 

The only thing to do is to imagine nothing, but just to sit 
down and lazily call to mind some old fairy tales, to tell them 
to oneself, without effort, and without troubling as to whether 
they bear upon what is real or not, or even if there be anything 
in them at all. 

So here I am, sitting down and calling to mind whatever 
fairy tales I may have heard. I am writing because " There 
never yet was an author who didn t write " so says a contem 
porary sage. 

May be my fairy tale is in some book or other. Or it may 
have been told me : perhaps by the old almshouse woman who 
sometimes came to our house on Sundays . . . perhaps by seven- 
year-old Boris, my little boy friend, who died of diphtheria. 
He was always telling fairy tales. 

I can t remember. It is possible that the almshouse woman 
told some and little Boris some. But it really doesn t matter. 
The tale, though drawn out, is not wearisome. It is about two 

That is, there are many kings in the tale, but it begins with 



two old kings. They reigned over two neighbouring kingdoms, 
and each kingdom covered half the earth, they were so huge. 
The kings had reigned and reigned, and, for as long as they 
could recollect, they had been at war with one another. When 
ever their people got really weary, then a short peace was made ; 
not lasting, but merely a truce. The kings would immediately 
take advantage of it to meet one another, and one would say, 
; Why are we always fighting like this ? Can t something 
be . . . ? And the other would reply, * Ay, indeed, but 
what can be done ? It is evidently our fate." 

At that very moment the armies, having rested, would 
already be at war again ; often the kings barely had time to 
return to their places of command. 

Well, the kings lived a long time, but at last they died, and 
their legal heirs began to reign. But the war went on just the 
same. And the population was already beginning to dwindle. 
It is all very well to say that the smaller a nation is the less bread 
it eats ; the constant melting away of one s subjects is nevertheless 
sickening, and the young kings began to think about changing 
this kind of life. Young, and bold to a degree that is rarely 
met with, they began all the same to dream. When for the first 
time they succeeded in finding a minute and met together, one of 
them, without losing any time, said, " Why are we always fighting ? 
Can t something be arranged so that one can live without war ? 
And the other immediately replied, * I myself have been 
thinking about this for quite nine years. It all comes from the 
hairbreadth dimensions of our frontier - line. Is there no way 
of keeping ourselves within bounds ? If one could only be 
thought out, things might be different." 

And they immediately began to think as hard and as quickly 
as possible. Meanwhile the battles again raged on the front, 
and the courtiers endeavoured to drag their sovereigns apart. 
The kings, however, paid absolutely no attention ; they were 
so young and so bold. Let them go on," they said, and as 
hard as they like ; those are every-day doings, but we, until we 
have ended our conference, shall not move from this spot." 

It is not known how things would have turned out if happily 
the kings had not soon come to an agreement. There and then 


they ordered a document with several clauses to be drawn up, 
and after they had signed it, they sealed it with seventy-seven 
seals, in order that it might endure to the end of all time. 

As, after this treaty, a considerable change in the way of life 
was to take place, even in the position of the kings themselves, 
they had hit upon a very happy little idea. 
This is how the kings had argued : 

One of our kingdoms," said they, * includes half of the 
earth, and the other kingdom the other half. How would it be 
if from henceforth that half of each kingdom that lies nearest 
to the boundary were not to count ? There are no houses on 
it, no grass growing, nor does the earth bring forth anything, 
only armies fight there. The hairbreadth line between us is 
not noticeable, and on either side of it, in that half of each of our 
kingdoms, fighting has been going on for Lord knows how many 
years ! And they there and then decided : Let us waive 
our rights over these halves. In any case they are of no use to 
us, since the grass doesn t grow, nor the earth produce there, 
and men either fight there with one another, or else are slain. 
What s the good of that ? It will be better if we lead our people, 
what remains of them, back to the hindermost parts of our king 
doms and build, each of us, a very high stone and brass wall, 
each wall reaching straight across from sea to sea ; between these 
ramparts shall lie the war area, a great waste land, a no man s 
land, grassless, unpopulated save by corpses. There have been 
no wild animals there for a long time ; let us also leave it alone ; 
just such another boundary to our two kingdoms will be found 
behind the two walls, for the old boundary line was never per 
ceptibly marked out. The two nations won t be able to see each 
other through the wall, which means they w r on t want to fight. 
Let us immediately order the troops to stop fighting, to disarm, 
and to set to work to build the wall. And then those shall be 
considered to be in military service and they shall be stationed 
along the wall who remain to guard the wall. It won t be hard 
work ; any one without a leg or an arm might apply." 

The kings at first feared that until the walls were built 
idlers would begin poking their noses into the waste land ; but 
no idlers put in an appearance, so obviously barren was the 


waste that it offered no attraction. And they were very glad 
to build a wall to hide it, and to leave it to God s grace : His will 
be done with it, were it even to give it into Satan s possession for 
all eternity. 

And lo, the walls are built, and stretch from sea to sea ; and 
a never-ceasing watch is kept along each one, so that no man 
shall approach it, nor holes and cracks appear and even wild 
beasts get through. The birds, of course, fly over, but this is 
winked at, and most of them are crows. 

And there begins a great peace in the two half-kingdoms 
separated by the desert of No Man s Land. 

Each nation sees no other nation, just as if there be none 
other in the world ; and why fight among themselves ? To 
begin with, there is hardly anybody left to fight. All the 
soldiers, or what remain of them, both the whole ones and the 
limbless ones, stand in single file and guard the wall. 

Now, far away on the sea, opposite the coast of the waste land, 
was a rocky island, to which the kings decided to sail in their 
yachts for a meeting. Nobody ever lived on that island, because 
it was as small as a threepenny bit, and inconvenient. 

The kings met, and their delight knew no bounds. " I," 
said one, have peace and calm behind my wall." And 
the other one also said, And in my state, behind my wall, 
everything is going on splendidly. There is even nothing to do 
which is not quite the thing, for every king ought to be a warrior, 
and there are now no regiments, nor decorations, and the only 
uniform is that of the * Royal Wall. " 

Having thus spoken, they parted and went back to their own 
countries. And, once more at home on their own land, they 
became so slack that both let the next date of meeting pass un 
observed. When they again met on the island, they were both 
already middle-aged. They began to discuss things, and both 
had the same tale to tell. All was calm and peaceful, not only 
did they not keep aeroplanes, but they had even forgotten how 
to print books. Half of their subjects ploughed the earth, the 
other half served as guards to the wall. And God grant this 
might be rectified from the armless, legless soldiers was springing 
up a weak, malformed race. As to the absence of intelligent 


freedom of thought, so much the better ; but they were also 
physically deficient, feeble at their work, well able to guard the 
wall, but as to ploughing land, they ploughed vilely. 

The kings talked but never came to the point, until they 
at last confessed to one another the fact that their finest popula 
tion was disappearing somewhere. So soon as a little child was 
born who was intelligent, and neither crooked nor squint-eyed, 
it would grow up and then vanish, no one saw whither. 
Parents were already getting accustomed to it. Well, there s 
another lost one," they would say. " Yes, but you ll go after 
him ? " " After what ? We can t, we don t know how to, and 
besides, it s God s will, which we can t oppose." And so they 

And the very kings sons had disappeared in just the same 
way two younger sons of one king and the middle son of the 
other. The heirs-apparent did not disappear, for they were 
both born dullards and among the unlost. 

The kings conferred upon the matter, and agreed to stronger 
measures. What did it all mean ? One of the ministers had 
even lost a little daughter. And after this decision they separ 
ated. The sea was, fortunately, calm, for as the yachts had 
gone to wrack and ruin, and many of the old and experienced 
sailors had died off, the voyage was not without risk, and so they 
seldom met. 

However, the everlasting compact was passed on to the suc 
cessors of these kings, and, though not soon, and even then with 
indifference, they too met on the island. 

" Well, what ? " asked one king of the other. " H m, all s 
well. But my people is small. They are always disappearing, and 
their bones with them." " Mine also disappear." " But is the 
wall standing ? " " Yes, it s standing." 

They left off talking and separated. But as they were now 
rowed in galleys they had a great fright. The ocean was calm, 
but while they were still at sea night overtook them, not off their 
own coasts, but off the coast of No Man s Land. 

In the darkness and the distance the coast could not be 
seen ; but, what was worse, there appeared some kind of long 
blue lights which seemed actually to be flickering and moving 


about on the waste land. May be it was only imagination, but 
that night they were all very frightened. However, they said 
nothing to one another and bore it in silence. 

Then again they began to live quietly and peacefully, but 
they never again to the day of their death went to the island. 
Although they left to their successors instructions about the 
island, they were not given with insistence, and the new kings 
decided not to carry them out. So they too began to live 
happily ; their subjects were occupied with being submissive 
and the kings with ruling justly, and if somebody had nothing 
to eat, and did not disappear, and was unsuitable for guarding 
the wall, then they quietly executed him. 

In the very last centuries the people began to disappear less, 
as it were : all were there, whatever there were of them. Already 
only a few remembered that there was a waste land on the other 
side of the wall, and beyond the waste land another wall and 
another kingdom. They knew their own wall, what more was 
wanted ? It was enough to know what was of use to themselves 
and to their country, and useless knowledge might merely be a 

Life had become simpler, each kingdom more unshaken, 
and everything would have gone on as before, and excellently, 
in peace and assurance, if, one fine morning, a tremendous 
unexpected event, such as had never yet been seen or heard of, 
had not taken place. 

This is what happened. 

The guard of the wall of either kingdom was deep in reverie, 
and everything was as usual, time was the only thing that moved, 
when there were seen descending upon the walls, upon both 
of them, flocks of long, blue birds. And there were so many of 
these birds they simply flew everywhere, the whole sky was 
filled with them. And when it was quite full of them, then both 
walls, without any particular noise, leaned over and fell upon 
different sides, within each kingdom. And in so doing they 
crushed to death along all the length of the wall, that spread 
from sea to sea, the whole of the guard ; who in this way died 
at their posts. 

The birds flew on and on, and alighted upon the earth ; on 


the birds rode men, and these men came down in such numbers 
that they covered the earth. 

Those of the kings subjects who were boldest went out to 
meet them, but others stayed at home and straightway died of 

Both kings also crept to their posts. 

At the sight they see they are much disconcerted and want 
to muster their armies ; but now there are neither walls nor 
armies nothing whatsoever. 

And the men of the birds all alight together, look around 
them, and pay not the slightest attention to the inhabitants until 
it suits them. 

But there were found a few bold fellows, some who could talk 
more plainly than others, and these shouted from a distance, " Hie, 
you, who brought you here ? The royal ministers too, having 
recovered, remembered that there must be a proper conference : 
: What people are you ? From what state ? 

The men turned round, and they were so big and so quick; 
they listened and replied : 

: We are men from No Man s Land. The half of the earth 
was too small for us, we now want to occupy it all." 
But to whom do you belong ? they asked. 

How belong ? We belong to ourselves. Our ancestors 
and our fathers, rinding it dull the other side of the wall, came 
by underground passages into freedom, into No Man s Land. 
There were dark passages remaining from the war of ancient 
times ; well, they departed while you were guarding the wall. 
But now we are going to live everywhere." 

The kings now both stepped out. 

This is our kingdom. Where is your king ? I shall make 
war upon him." 

But the others laughed : 

We are all kings. There are as many kings as there are 
men among us. So it won t be worth your while to fight against 
us. Our ships are sailing yonder over the sea to other coasts, 
and there they are all kings too. Only our kings are of a kind 
that never fight with one another. And now, all the earth, both 
yours and ours, will be ours alone." 



How yours ? And where are we to go ? 

But wherever you like. Of what use are you ? 
The kings subjects looked at one another, and the kings 
exchanged glances with their ministers ; they didn t know 
what to reply ; they had never thought about what use they 
might be. 

And so the matter ended, and the No Man s Land people, tall, 
and blue, who were without exception all kings, began to inhabit 
the whole world, and all the earth became theirs, with all the 
flowers, and all the corn, together with the birds and ships of 
their own building. 

Translated by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR. 


(From Summer Impressions on Returning from the War) 

THE broad blue ribbon of our Russian Volga streams forth beneath 
the dark-blue summer sky. The July sun, still high above the 
cloudless horizon, darts its burning rays straight into my face. 
They gild the yellow, sandy banks, and a dazzling pathway of 
light stretches from the sun straight towards me over the surface 
of the water. 

At this sight, the words of some Japanese sage come into my 
mind that, be there few or many on the banks, it will seem clear 
to each one that to himself alone the sun sends this ray, that 
he alone is chosen out of all the rest . . . and that nevertheless 
such an impression is due to a profound psychic error. 

" Yes, a profound mistake," I mentally agree with him, and 
moreover it is the primary mistake, the most ancient and the 
greatest of all mistakes. All others rest upon it, as upon a founda 
tion, and crumble away of themselves as soon as science has 
convinced us and brought it home to our hearts that we are all 
of equal value in the common life of the universe. 

I am driving along the bank of the Volga, having come back 
from the War on account of severe bronchitis contracted at the 
Front. My object is to get cement and lime for the repair of 
my house from the Koprinska wharf, already visible yonder on the 
bank of the river. A crowd of bare-legged country boys come 
running up. 

They are playing at war." All have walking-sticks by 
way of guns hanging from their shoulders, and one of them, 
cleaner in his dress than the others, and not bare-footed but 



wearing high boots, is their officer, and is armed with a sword 
made out of a crooked stick. 

* Forward ! Hurrah ! Take their machine-gun ! cries 
he, waving his sword, and the whole boyish troop throws itself 
valiantly upon a sandy hillock, and seizing upon some stump 
lying there, drags it down with warlike shouts. " The enemy " 
bursts out of his trenches, the machine-gun repulses him, and the 
breathless warriors return to the road as heroes crowned with 
laurels. There are no vanquished ; nobody wants to play the 
part of the defeated or the wounded, still less of the fugitive. 

They have long ago noticed my presence. 
: Why do you drive in an odr ? : cries the officer to me, 
astonished because I am not in the usual country tarantass, but 
in a waggon of my own, with high bars before and behind 
the kind of vehicle called an odr in these parts, and used in 
our central Russian villages for the conveyance of loads of hay. 
; Because I am going to buy some things at the wharf." 
Take us to the gates. We will open them for you." 

Get in ! 

Three of the children jump up behind the back of my odr 
and come with me, clinging with their hands to its high rear 
bar, saving themselves with difficulty from being thrown out 
by the lurching and jolting of the clumsy vehicle as the horses 
trot along the deeply rutted road. 

1 Look out ! J they shout to a young girl who approaches 
us, " we are just going to fire shrapnel." 

Soon we arrive at the gates in the rustic fence. They are 
opened in the twinkling of an eye by the boys, who have rushed 
on ahead of me to guard the fence, which I am to imagine the 
barrier of some great city. The waggon is allowed to pass through 
on my duly giving the password, and then all the boyish army 
runs back again to capture more machine-guns. 

And now, from watching these children, there comes to me 
an answer to the burning question, : Why is war possible on this 
earth to-day ? 

First, because its inhabitants, taking them as a whole, look 
upon it just as these children do. And why do they do so ? 
Because there is not yet innate in man s soul a love of his 


neighbour ; and it is not there because every individual and 
every nation still thinks that that bright path of light stretches 
between the sun and himself alone, passing all others by. 

Then what can be done to put an end for ever to such a mental 
attitude ? 

Many things. But first of all give to each nation just con 
ceptions of the other nations, so that every human being shall see 
in his fellowmen children of the human race working out their 
historical evolution, each one necessary to the proper develop 
ment of humanity in all its fulness. In this process of evolution 
every nation and every tongue clearly plays a certain part 
indispensable, though not as yet fully revealed to us. 

But just ideas about all nations can be derived only from a 
wide knowledge of the world around, and by the removal of 
those causes which induce people to think of other nations as 
their enemies and their rivals. 

Then the war games," which the reader may be assured 
are being played now, not only on the banks of the Volga, but 
on the banks of the Elbe, of the Rhine, of the Danube, and in 
almost every European or Asiatic country, will lose their hold on 
the imagination of childhood, and consequently on that of youth, 
especially if in earliest childhood neither the Germans nor the 
Austrians nor any other nation feed the awakening intelligence 
on tales of legendary heroes cutting people s heads off right 
and left with their enormous swords. 

And this is quite possible. Even now in all countries the 
ancient warlike legends are being replaced by new children s 
tales, which impress more peaceful images on the awakening 
mind, and accustom the new generations to see that true heroism 
does not consist in the conflict of man with man, but in the 
common struggle of all mankind against those hostile forces of 
elemental nature which are continually revealing themselves, 
now here and now there. 

Yes even apart from war the conquest of new knowledge, 
new truths and new benefits for life on earth, affords only too 
large a field for heroism and self-sacrifice. 






I SAW you starting for another war, 

The emblem of adventure and of youth, 

So that men trembled, saying : He forsooth 

Has gone, has gone, and shall return no more." 

And then out there, they told me you were dead, 

Taken and killed ; how was it that I knew, 

Whatever else was true, that was not true ? 

And then I saw you pale upon your bed, 

Scarcely a year ago, when you were sent 

Back from the margin of the dim abyss ; 

For Death had sealed you with a warning kiss 

And let you go to meet a nobler fate : 

To fight in fellowship, O fortunate : 

To die in battle with your regiment. 


1 Inserted by kind permission of The Times newspaper. 




ALL happy families are alike. Every unhappy family is un 
happy in its own peculiar way," wrote Tolstoi. And may this 
not also be true of nations ! 

War is for all a terrible calamity. Every belligerent nation 
has felt it to be so ; but on the souls of the various peoples war 
has reacted in various ways. 

Our great Russian writers, especially Tolstoi and Dostoevsky, 
have revealed to Western nations the soul of Russia, so that in 
these tragic moments it may without difficulty be understood. 

The following notes may perhaps convey some of the im 
pressions which have come to me from my own country. 


Through the vast spaces of Russia the news of the declaration 
of war spread like a whirlwind. Dark clouds, grim and menacing, 
like the nymphs of Valhalla, overcast the horizon. And on this 
sinister background there hovered a voracious vulture, Austria- 
Germany, ready to pounce upon Serbia, its poor defenceless 

P re y- 

The storm-cloud suddenly burst. With bewildering rapidity 
events followed swiftly one upon the other : Belgium invaded, 
France attacked, Holy Russia our own country threatened ! 

Then, with one breath, the whole nation resolved to protect 
itself and to conquer. 

The War went on. A wave of enthusiasm swept through the 
country, not a passion for war, but a deep consciousness of a 
duty to be fulfilled. 

Seriousness had taken hold of the people. Anxiety expressed 



itself on every countenance. Smiles there were few, voices were 
hushed even at the beginning. 

When, obedient to command, soldiers went by singing, 
those who watched them shed silent tears. It was not death 
they feared, but rather the frenzy of war that terrified them and 
filled their souls with pity. Even over victories they could not 
really rejoice. 

The desire for c elf-sacrifice was universal. It possessed not 
men alone, but women and children. Boys of thirteen, fourteen, 
and fifteen enlisted as volunteers, and rendered valuable service, 
winning often the cross of war or dying a hero s death. 

Women were not satisfied with nursing the wounded at the 
base ; they longed to run greater risks. Under the enemy s 
fire they pursued their work of mercy. Many served as scouts. 
Some became aviators or even soldiers. No sacrifice seemed 
great enough. 

Despite all the horrors of war, hatred did not mar the Russian 
soul. It continued to overflow with that pity which is the 
heart s most precious treasure. 

Thus the soldiers returned from the Front as from a purifying 
fire. I would not dare to say that in the battle s heat pity may 
not have sometimes failed. But, when the battle ended and the 
soul awoke, hatred of the enemy vanished, giving place to com 
passion deep and heart-piercing. 

With amazing fairness, deep comprehension, and unerring 
intuition these simple, unlettered folk judged the behaviour of 
the Germans, the heroism of the Belgians and of the Allies. 
Between them and their officers there was real friendly intercourse, 
totally unlike anything during the Russo-Japanese War. Then 
it was merely to discipline and sometimes to constraint that the 
soldiers answered. Not understanding the reason for the war, 
they were stirred by no enthusiasm for it. Now, as brethren, 
they pursue an object manifest to every intelligence and dear to 
every heart ; consequently the tie of affection binds together 
soldiers and officers. 

1 Like children round a father we press round our officer if 
he falls wounded. Every one of us would sooner be killed 
than abandon him." * Our officers are always with us. Often 


when we have satisfied our hunger, they have not yet eaten ; 
we offer them our platter, and they willingly share our repast." 
Thus write the Russian soldiers. All are bound together in a 
common desire for sacrifice in a common resolution to conquer. 

In the first months of the War the Government made itself 
one with the people. . . . All divisions of class, party, and 
nationality disappeared. The whole country had but one 
thought, one desire, one object. 

Morals were reformed. Alcoholism vanished. The people 
themselves demanded the closing of public-houses. Drunken 
ness with its attendant brutality and coarseness disappeared. 

To the mystic soul of the people it seemed that in war-time, 
as before the Holy Communion, one ought to be in a state of 
grace. And in those days we realised of what infinite goodness 
and moral force the Russian people are capable. 

War, bloodthirsty, cruel, barbarous, had come, and the 
people had met it with a symphony of courage, sacrifice, energy, 
and pity. 

This I found to be the soul of the Russian people when face 
to face with war. 


PARIS, 1916. 





THE colossal growth of war technique has considerably modified 
methods of warfare, has even modified war itself, but, neverthe 
less, in the living power the soldier the main and decisive 
factor still remains. 

No cannon balls and bullets, no monsters of artillery are 
terrible unless inspired by the spirit of man. That is why the 
soldier with his individual capacity will ever continue to gain 
preponderance now on one, now on another fighting area. As 
in ancient times, so now, war is rather a wrestling between peoples 
than a conflict of mechanical strength. The unusual scale of 
the armies contending in the world s theatre of the war confirms 
this view. If technique has in this war reached its apogee, the 
growth of the army has also reached dimensions hitherto unknown. 
It may be said that not armies but armed nations are fighting, 
whole nations organised into separate war units, corps, divi 
sions, and so on. And as, even in past times, each nation possessed 
an army distinguished by individual particularities, or, to be 
more exact, distinguished by the peculiarities inherent in the 
said nation, so now, when almost every nation forms an army, 
this shows itself in a still greater degree. The study of an army 
apart from a nation is unthinkable. All the characteristic 
features of a given people lie at the base of its army and form its 
most distinguishing features. 

It was in the year 1874 that universal military service was 
introduced into Russia. Now, therefore, after more than forty 
years, the Russian army is fed from all parts of its vast Empire 
by the life-stream of its population, consisting of every stratum 



of Russian society, of all the various nationalities that form the 
combined Russian nation. For this reason the Russian army 
can be boldly styled the National Army, for it reflects all the 
features of the Russian nation in the widest sense of the word. 

Even the most superficial acquaintance with the history of the 
Russian nation presents a picture of the character of those early 
wars which tempered its warlike spirit and trained its heroism. 

Russia had in ancient times to protect herself from aggressive 
neighbours on all sides. Nomad Tartars fell upon her from the 
East, she had in the South to defend her frontiers from both 
Tartars and Turks, she was threatened in the West by Poles and 
Swedes. The wars with these various nations were defensive ; 
and if Russia extended her boundaries it was not by a carefully- 
thought-out offensive, but entirely as the result of a successful 
defence, in which the beaten enemy in his flight abandoned part 
of his territory to pursuing Russian troops. 

This circumstance has influenced the whole military science 
of Russia. That is, our military science invariably originates 
in a defensive. Herein is expressed the soul of the Russian 
people, ever deeply convinced that God is not with aggressors. 
This idea is at the root of our national theory of life, and genera 
tions of Russian citizens have been reared on the principle of 
antipathy to aggression, though ever ready to defend their 
Motherland with the last drop of their blood. 

Yes, the Russian soldier when on the defensive shows extra 
ordinary stoicism ; and he is capable, when defending his mother- 
earth the nurse at whose breast he has fed of inflicting incal 
culable losses upon the enemy. It is enough to remember the 
war of 1812, when the whole population, to oppose the army of 
Napoleon, voluntarily formed itself into regiments ; when even 
peasant women, pitchforks in hand, went, all of their own accord, 
into the forests and there fell upon isolated detachments of the 
great army. They were protecting their country, they were 
the personification of the defensive idea that is so deeply engrained 
in the consciousness of the Russian people, and consequently 
in the Russian soldier. In the present war, the Russian troops 
retreating in 1915 before the pressure of the attacking enemy 
in Galicia and Poland, though lacking war material to such a 


degree that their artillery was utterly without ammunition, yet 
throughout three whole months tenaciously held back superior 
enemy forces, who were abundantly supplied with muni 
tions and who were availing themselves of the latest dis 
coveries in war technique. German officers, taken prisoner, 
while expressing their lively admiration of the Russian soldier s 
grit, confessed their inability to understand his heroic resistance 
under such disadvantageous conditions. 

The Russian army, when on the defensive, purposely wears 
the enemy out ; then, when his adversary is at his last gasp, choos 
ing the moment when he is least expected, the Russian falls 
upon him and drives his foe before him with ever-increasing 
losses. So it was on the occasion of the Mongol invasion, of 
Napoleon s invasion, and so it will be in Kaiser Wilhelm s invasion. 
The Russian soldier now firmly believes in his own invincibility 
and in the righteousness of his cause. 

A defensive followed up by an offensive we have here the 
base of Russian strategy, the peculiar characteristic of the Russian 
nation and of its history. 

Russia is a country of agricultural labourers, a country in 
which town life only began to develop in recent times ; the 
Russian people therefore is not weakened by the luxuries of 
over-civilization. Our soldier is very near to nature, he is 
able to endure hardships, he is ever ready to take his bearings 
and adapt himself to all kinds of surroundings ; forest and field 
are his native element ; the horse is his friend. Hence, as a 
natural consequence, the love of the Russian soldiers for the 
perils of scouting, for night assaults, for the bold attacks of our 
flying cavalry. Minor tactics are our soldiers favourite diversion. 
There are always plenty of volunteers for any risky raid or sally. 
Our soldier does not, like the German, hide himself behind the 
barbed wire ; he even regards the methods proper to modern 
warfare as too colourless and as not yielding sufficiently rapid 

It is in view of this that our tactics chiefly consist of a bold 
reconnaissance followed by a bayonet charge. From the earliest 
times the Russian soldier hoped more from his physical strength 
than from machinery. The bogatyrs^ or legendary heroes, 


sallying out in single fight with the enemy, took with them no 
arquebus but simply a cudgel or a sword. The great Field-Marshal 
Suvorov was continually telling his heroic soldiers, The bullet 
is a fool, the bayonet a fine fellow." And to the present day, 
notwithstanding the colossal importance of fire-arms in warfare, 
the Russian soldier prefers a hand-to-hand fray and puts more 
trust in his bayonet than in powder and shot. He falls upon his 
enemy with shouts and thrusts, and is in most cases successful 
in driving him away from his position, whereupon panic is 
followed by flight. 

A bayonet charge is, to use an idiomatic expression, the red 
thread running through our tactics both in military instructions 
and in the natural instinct of the Russian soldier. 

We shall not linger over any description of the operations of 
our Russian Cossacks ; the work of their cavalry is well known all 
over the world. The bold mounted Cossack, armed with a 
spear and Circassian sabre, rushes on absolutely oblivious to 
danger. Sitting his horse like a centaur, he, in the same way 
as the foot-soldier, endeavours to meet the foe face to face and 
to measure his strength with him in hand-to-hand fighting. 

We are now therefore acquainted with the main character 
istics of the Russian soldier, and we also know that these form 
the elements of our Russian strategy and tactics. 

We shall next endeavour to acquaint ourselves further with 
the characteristics of his life in war-time, with those features of 
the Russian soldier that distinguish him from the soldier of other 
contemporary armies of civilised nations. 

The Russian manual for privates contains these words : A 
soldier is the defender of the Tsar and of his Fatherland from 
enemies within and without." In these words are defined 
those general duties that devolve upon every Russian citizen 
when he enters the ranks of the army. 

Firstly, it is the duty and obligation of every soldier to 
protect his Tsar. Russian history is throughout penetrated with 
Tsarism. Decades of generations of the Russian people have 
been reared up deeply imbued with love for their Tsar, God s 
anointed, whose dominion therefore has ever in their minds 
been connected with the benevolence of God. Consequently, 


from childhood the Russian peasant learns to look upon the 
Tsar as chosen by God to carry out His will. This is why, when 
the Russian is called to the ranks, by responding to the call he 
accepts the defence of his lawful Tsar as his primary duty. In 
the defence of God s anointed, for the sake of his Tsar, the head 
of all the Russian army, the Russian soldier, himself a member of 
Christ s army, will boldly march into the greatest danger. 

Russian warriors have in all ages died with amazing tran 
quillity in the defence of Tsar and country. They are ready 
for everything, will stop at nothing. Here is an example. A 
private of the Tenginsk regiment, by name Arkhip Osipov, 
threw himself with a blazing torch into an enemy s powder 
magazine, and blew it up, sacrificing his own life but annihilating 
at the same time a regiment of the foe. Again, in the Russo- 
Japanese War, two Russian sailors in the Russian mine-layer, 
the Sferegusch, finding themselves about to be taken prisoner, 
opened the valves and, in order not to surrender their ship to the 
enemy, perished together with the mine-layer, in the depths of 
the sea. 

The present war has also been distinguished by much heroism. 
Russian soldiers, when taken prisoner, patiently bear all tortures 
inflicted upon them by the enemy in the hope of obliging them 
to communicate desired information. Cases have been officially 
confirmed of Russian soldiers whose tongues and ears had been 
cut off by the Austrians, and who had even been burned at the 
stake, and who yet refused to make any disclosure. 

Up to the end of the last century the Russian people lived in 
serfdom. The peasants were in complete dependence on the 
landowners, for these exercised unlimited power over them. 
Such age-long conditions of life could not but have had some 
effect, and the result is another characteristic of our army, 
the capacity of unquestioningly submitting itself to authority. 
This submission is not based on any fear, it rests exclusively 
on the recognition of the leader s right to command. In his 
superior officer the soldier sees a figure who is the possessor of 
superior knowledge and of superior information, and he therefore 
submits to his command in absolute obedience. Moreover, he 
esteems all officials as the Tsar s representatives. 



As to the relations between the leaders and their subordinates, 
these were peculiar even centuries ago. In the present regula 
tions for home service the relations between officers and men 
are formularised in the following expression : " The officer must 
care for his subordinates like a father." In other words, the 
relations that exist between the leaders and the subordinates are 
parental. Upon the officer is laid the obligation of caring for 
his soldiers as for his own children. And this frequently meets 
with a reciprocal feeling. Among the Cossack troops one will 
often hear a simple Cossack affectionately thee-and-thouing an 
officer at the same moment that he addresses him with the greatest 
respect. And the officers, following the tradition of the army, 
do actually show paternal care for their men, especially now, in 
war time, when the soldier is in closer proximity to the officer 
and the officer necessarily lives the same life as the soldier. The 
officer sees to it that the soldiers are well fed, that they are clean 
and barbered, that they are warmly clothed, and he himself 
inspects their linen. More than once, even officials of high rank 
visiting the army have been known to make the soldiers take off 
their boots, that they might inspect their feet. 

The soldier values his leader s care for him, and is in his 
turn eager to carry out his every wish, however arduous be the 
task required of him. In the moment of danger he will willingly 
sacrifice his life for such a leader. I personally know of an 
example of this in the case of one of my brother officers, Colonel 
Lukashevich. Lukashevich was, in 1877, m command of a com 
pany of the Irkutsk regiment. His company was one day 
despatched on a scouting expedition. Having reached a Turkish 
village, Lukashevich together with a non-commissioned officer 
walked on, his company remaining about fifty paces in the rear. 
They were already approaching the first building, when 
Lukashevich suddenly received on his back so violent a 
blow that he was unable to save himself from falling to the 
ground. A volley at that moment resounded from behind a 
fence, and his companion, who stood just behind him, fell with 
eleven wounds in his chest, while Lukashevich remained whole 
and unhurt. The non-commissioned officer, having suddenly 
remarked some Turks behind the fence, anticipating their shots, 


had thrown his officer to the ground and himself received the 
bullets intended for his leader. The company, hearing the 
volley and seeing their leader prone upon the ground, hereupon 
ran up with a shout and quickly routed the Turks and took the 

This and other examples show the soldier s love for his 
chief. The soldier is ready to risk his life for him. Love for 
his neighbour and benevolence in general are strong character 
istics of the Russian. See how he treats his foe when a prisoner ! 
I myself have witnessed remarkable scenes, such as a soldier 
giving his last crust of bread or the last drop of water in his water- 
bottle to a wounded Austrian, and then carefully bandaging his 
prisoner s wounds, this, too, despite the fact that the enemy 
is more like a wild beast in the way he treats his prisoners. 

So long as the enemy, gun in hand, stands in opposing ranks, 
he is treated as a foe, but once he is a prisoner his Russian captor 
quickly changes into a friend. : We must not kick a man when 
he is down," says the Russian soldier, and, not content with this, 
he treats his prisoner as his comrade. He even ceases to enter 
tain any ill-feeling for his former enemy. 

The conditions both of Russian service and of Russian home- 
life have hardened the peasant, like tempered steel ; he is 
astonishingly enduring, and is satisfied with very little. He will 
march for miles along the terrible Russian roads without a mur 
mur, while sinking in mud up to his knees. He has from child 
hood been accustomed to our lack of roads, and to him the 
marshy swamp of byways offers no impediment. The boundless 
space of immense Russia, the absence of railways, highroads and 
all other civilised ways and means of communication, early inure 
the Russian peasant to long journeys afoot. When in military 
service he is therefore able to cover tremendous ground with 
astonishing speed and the minimum of fatigue, and over what 
roads ! 

In the present war there have been instances of Russian 
infantry marching some 70 versts (46 to 47 miles) in twenty-four 
hours. During such marches the baggage waggons perforce 
remain behind and there is not even a transport kitchen to provide 
hot meals ; but the men are on these occasions quite content with 


a hunk of black bread. The soldier when at home in his village 
is, during the busy harvest time, also accustomed to meagre fare, 
and he does not feel it a privation to be without hot food for two 
or three days. 

Unspoiled by participation in the luxuries of modern civilisa 
tion, strong and enduring, devoted to duty, a believer in God, 
a lover of Russia, brave, undaunted, prodigal of his life such 
is the Russian soldier. 

With such fighters and with an improved technique we can 
not fail to win great victories. England, thanks to her advanced 
civilisation, thanks to her industrial development, is able to con 
tribute all that modern warfare demands in machinery. But 
Russia supplies war material no less splendid she contributes 
the best soldier in the world, led by officers no less richly en 
dowed. The union of Russia with England means for the 
civilised world victory over the barbarians of the twentieth 

Translated by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR. 


O SON of mine, forgive these tears, 
The tears that from my heart are wrung ! 
E en birch-trees for their reft boughs weep, 
The wild beasts for their young. 

And, dearest, how should I not weep ? 
Nor dolorous grief o er me prevail ? 
Where strength and calm endurance draw 
To choke ... a mother s wail ? 

In offering to our native land 
We needs must of our own will part 
With what is lovelier than life, 
E en though it break our heart. 

And so I freely offer thee 
To deadly battle with the foe. 
Though dearer to me than my life . . . 
Farewell ! God with thee ! Go ! 






IN the afternoon, when dinner was over in the cottage of Marika 
Kovalchuka, and Marika, after clearing away the bowls and 
spoons from the table, was just going to the shed to see if the 
cow had anything to eat, in came Khariton Tkachenko, and sat 
down at the table beside the little window and began to read 
aloud the newspaper which he had got from the village letter- 

The newspaper could be obtained at the office of the district 
government, but in all the district only two people ever read 
it the letter-writer himself and Tkachenko. The letter-writer 
could do so that one could understand because he was a letter- 
writer, that is to say, a learned man who could read and under 
stand any document. But Tkachenko was an ordinary peasant, 
who possessed a cottage, a wife, three children, a horse, a cow, 
a sow with a litter of young ones, and a peasant s allotment of 
land as much as was given at that place. He could read and 
write, however, and was eager for news. The last was chiefly 
because Arkhip Kovalchuk, his bosom friend and companion from 
childhood, who was his partner in holding a lease of twenty acres 
of church land from the village priest, and also the husband of 
Marika and the father of eight-year-old Dmitro and six-year-old 
Fedoska, had gone to the War as a reservist. And everything 
about the War was in the newspaper, so Tkachenko followed all 
the news and never missed anything. 

Of course he could have read the paper at home, where he 
would have been in greater quiet ; but he knew that Marika 

1 86 


would ply him with questions, and then he would have to tell 
her the whole contents of the paper in his own words. So he 
thought it was better to read it once for all for the benefit of 
both of them. And besides, he could never forget that Arkhip, 
when he was leaving for the War, had charged him to look after 
Marika and the children ; and although Marika had sniffed 
protestingly, declaring that she had a head on her own shoulders 
and knew very well how to look after herself, he considered it 
his duty to do it all the same. 

And still Marika did not go to see to the cow. No matter, 
nothing would happen to the beast even if it did wait another 
hour without a feed. Her mind was so utterly absorbed in the 
news, that when Tkachenko was reading she never missed a 
single word. And he was reading for a long time, for the whole 
newspaper was about the War, and he was not a very expert 
master of the art : he would drag, and hesitate, and stop short. 
If a peasant goes into the town, driving not horses but oxen, and 
stops at every little hummock and every little ditch, is he likely 
to get there quickly ? But both Tkachenko himself and Marika 
were wholly and entirely wrapped up in the reading, utterly 
forgetful, for the time, of everything else in the universe. Of 
course they were interested in the War, like all the rest of their 
fellow-countrymen, and they both longed for our side to be 
victorious and not a single trace of the Germans to be left 
behind. But if that had been all, they, like the rest of the village, 
would ask the letter-writer how the War was getting on, and if 
he answered that it was getting on splendidly, they would have 
been quite satisfied. But the thing was that Arkhip was at the 
War, and therefore they felt just as though they were fighting 
themselves. And since they did not know exactly where Arkhip 
was in what regiment or in what country they looked for 
him in all ; and wherever a battle or a skirmish had taken 
place, there, so it seemed to them, had been Arkhip. Arkhip 
was nowhere and everywhere ; he retreated from the enemy and 
pursued him at one and the same time ; he fought in Galicia and 
in Prussia, not to mention the possibility that he might be per 
forming great deeds on the shores of the North Sea. In a word, 
wheresoever was the thunder of the guns, there too was Arkhip. 


And seeing that he not only conquered cities and marched into 
them to the roll of the drum, but also exposed himself to attack, 
figured in the list of the wounded in the hospitals, was taken 
prisoner, was picked up a lifeless corpse from the field of battle, 
one can understand that Marika lived through the most fearful 
mental agonies and suffered all the tumultuous emotions of 
which the human heart alone is capable. Her cheeks would 
now be suffused with crimson, now a deathly pallor would spread 
over them ; one moment her eyes would sparkle joyously, and 
the next would fill with tears. " O Lord, O Lord," she would 
whisper in terror, as Tkachenko read the description of some 
battle where men had fallen in hundreds, perhaps Arkhip was 
just there ! And then she would cross herself and offer up her 
prayer for the well-being of Arkhip, dreading at the same time 
lest unawares she might be praying for the repose of his soul. 

The children would be here too, sitting on the bench. Both 
of them would fix their big eyes on Tkachenko and look straight 
in his face. But Fedoska did not hold out, and would very soon 
give up. Her eyes would close, her head sink to one side, and 
she would stretch herself out on the bench and go to sleep. But 
Dmitro, who was himself able to read, though of course he was 
a long way behind Tkachenko, would greedily swallow every 
word, and, seeing that this had been going on nearly every day 
for three months, his head had got quite full of the strangest 
words, of which he understood perhaps a dozen, and that in his 
own fashion. Here were positions and " trenches * and 
attacks and shrapnel and * contributions and all that, 
so that sometimes he would jump up in the night and cry out 
frantically, for all these words appeared before him in his sleep 
in the form of frightful monsters. His brain was continually 
on fire with warlike imaginings. He loved his father Arkhip 
dearly, and he never ceased for a moment to think of him, 
wondering how he was fighting and, more especially, how he 
was living. 

Many times the idea came into his head to be off to the War 
without a word, so as to be near his father. Only two things 
held him back : the first was, where was this War ? in what 
direction must he go to look for it ? Usually when people do 


not know their way they ask the passers-by whom they meet 
and they point it out to them, and, even though it may be a long 
way to go, still they get there in the long-run. But in his case 
it was impossible to ask anybody, for then they would just take 
him, seeing he was but a little boy, and turn him back to the 
village. And the second was, that although he longed very 
much to be with his father, yet at the same time he could not 
imagine himself without his mother. 

But this day, when Tkachenko had gone away home after 
reading out all that was in the paper, other thoughts were begin 
ning to stir in Dmitro s brain. He kept thinking all the time that 
in two days the Christmas feast would be upon them, and father 
not at home ! And he could not imagine how they were to 
welcome the festival without father. For all the years he had 
lived in the world, never once had such a thing happened. 

It must always be like this, that on the eve of the festival 
everybody would sit in the cottage father, and mother, and 
Fedoska, and he himself, Dmitro and, when he was alive, grand 
father, that is to say, father s father, too they would all sit 
and eat boiled rice with raisins in it and stewed fruit, and all 
the various things that were customary. And on the feast-day 
itself, after coming from Mass, they would eat fat bacon the 
first thing roasted, and boiled, and salted every sort of dish of 
bacon and sausages. It was for this that at the proper time 
they had killed the wild boar, and before that had fattened 
him in the dark shed. All these things together made up the 
festival, and he could not possibly imagine it otherwise. But 
alas, poor father ! how sorry he was for him ! So sorry that he 
was ready to cry. And the worst thing was that nothing could 
be done about it. Of course, if only one could know where this 
same War was, one could stuff a sack full of a lot of bacon 
and sausages, put it on one s back, and take it there and put it 
before father. And then father would have something to break 
his fast on, and have a feast-day like everybody else. 

When night came Dmitro went to bed on top of the stove. 
From below the heat came pleasantly, and toasted him nicely 
as though he had been a little sucking-pig that was to be roasted 
for the feast-day. His eyes were shut, but he was not asleep ; 


he kept thinking, " If I could but get to the War-bright to head 
quarters ! Straight to the General and then on to the Colonel, 
. . . Oh, what a pity that I am still little. If only I were a big 
lad, I could slip quietly down from the stove, then into the store 
room ; then I would take bacon and sausages in a sack and run off 
ever so fast, straight to father." 


It sometimes happens in this world that a person may be 
planning something earnestly and yet never notice that the thing 
is coming gradually to pass and has happened of itself. All 
things happen in life, only it does not fall to every one to ex 
perience everything. And so it was with Dmitro. For even 
though he was not yet a big lad, but only eight years old, he 
nevertheless got down from the stove, put his boots on his feet, 
and on his shoulders a pelisse given to him by his father before 
he went to the War, from which there came a nice pungent smell 
of sheepskin, and went out of the cottage into the entry, and 
from the entry into the storeroom. 

Here it was dark, though he almost put his eyes out with 
straining them, but he knew that there, just by the door, stood 
the tub, filled to the very brim with fresh, newly-cured bacon, 
and that on the shelf above the tub there were sausages coiled up 
in rings. 

He seized a small sack, or rather wallet, of the kind that 
beggars use, stuffed it to the top with bacon and sausages, and 
was off to the War. 

And the most surprising thing about it was that he succeeded 
in doing all this so cleverly that neither mother nor little Fedoska 
heard anything. But how was that ? They slept soundly, and 
that was why they did not hear. 

And this too was surprising, that he, who hitherto could 
never imagine where this same War was, now knew perfectly 
well. Suppose some one should ask him, <: Where is the War ? 
perhaps he would not know how to answer, though he himself 
knew sure enough that he was going to the War, that he would 
certainly get there, and even that it was not at all far off. 


Out in front a little river was to be seen, flowing through the 
midst of the valley and winding several times like a huge snake, 
the ice upon it glittering like scales. And there, just beyond 
this river, would be the War. 

So Dmitro went gaily on his way, and there was a joyful 
feeling in his heart because he was carrying on his back the wallet 
stuffed with bacon and sausages, and that not for any chance 
person, but for father. Father, you see, was a hero. He was 
there, at the War, fighting the Germans. There were pressing 
on him on all sides positions," and contributions," and 
" trenches," and * shrapnel," and whatever else they call them 
there in a word, all sorts of horrors and it must be that he was 
feeling hungry there, as hungry as a wolf. What did he get to 
eat there ? Dry biscuits of some sort soaked in water, and any 
thing else that God might send. And perhaps he might chew 
these same <c positions " and " contributions " and spit them out. 
But as for bacon there, or sausages, or, in short, any sort of really 
Christian victuals, there was no use even thinking of them. And 
on the German side but everybody knows what the Germans 
eat, cats, and rats, and mice, and black beetles faugh ! 

But he was lost in thought and never noticed that the snow 
was getting deeper and deeper. Already his boots, which 
reached to the knee, were sinking into the snow right up to their 
tops, and it was only with an effort that he could drag his feet 
out of the snow. Ah, and now the snow was up to his waist, 
and he could only just manage to scramble out of it. Up to his 
shoulders ! Phew ! To his very cheeks ! And at last, there 
he was, lying with his head in the snow, and he gave himself up 
for lost. But something happened which would not be believed 
if it were told. No, indeed, for there are people who live in 
their own village in the country, even to old age, and till their 
beards are white, and never understand anything properly. 
But he, Dmitro, when he fell with his head in the snow, fell into 
the exact place where he wanted to be, that is evident, for it was 
into the War he fell. There it was, in front of him, all quite clear 
and distinct. And what was not going on there ! It was terrible 
even to look at it. Guns were firing, cannons thundering, 
drums beating, trumpets blowing, horses neighing and stamping 


their feet and pawing the ground. It was as if there was no air 
at all, but instead of it a kind of yellow fog, and in it bullets and 
bombs were flying about like bees. On all sides fires were 
breaking out with a roar like thunderbolts, and everything 
was trembling, tottering, falling. Was this day or night ? Well, 
you could take your choice. Then Dmitro sees that some sort 
of cloud is moving upon him. It is still far away, but is getting 
nearer and nearer, and it grows in breadth and height, and be 
comes so enormous that it takes up half the earth. He stares 
with all his eyes, now opening them wide, now screwing them 
up. He watches it, and, quite suddenly, he sees distinctly that 
it is the Germans the whole army of the enemy. 

Of course it is they. Had they been Russians he would 
have known them at once, and seen his father first of all. But 
there was no sign of father there, and God be praised that he was 
not there, for, if he had been such as they were, it would be so 
dreadful that he, Dmitro, would have been obliged to renounce 
him. And so this was what they were like, these Germans ! 
Now one could understand why our men were fighting them. 
What ungodly looking brutes they were, as though they had been 
chosen for their ugliness, and as though some one had taken and 
twisted them all crooked. Their noses were red like rowan-berries, 
and long and sharp like those of the black storks who had built 
a big nest on the roof of the priest s cottage, and fly there every 
summer and rear their long-beaked young. Their eyes were 
round and large as good-sized cart-wheels, and their mouths 
such that one could quite well drive into them in a water-butt, 
and there stuck out of them above and below spikes yards and 
yards long. And they themselves were hunch-backed, crooked, 
lame, with withered hands, and among them there was not one 
man such as a man ought to be. Evidently God had punished 
them for being Germans. 

And now they were coming upon him, coming, coming, 
one riding on a horse, another on a dog, another on a cow, another 
on a cat, and one even on a rat. Each one had a gun in his hand, 
and these guns all pointed their muzzles at Dmitro, and out of them 
with a roar flew bombs : one, two, three a thousand a million 
bombs flew out, and what became of them God only knows. 


Dmitro understands that he ought to be terrified and tremble 
like an aspen leaf, because all this is so terrible. Nevertheless, 
he stands in the midst of it all as though there is nothing the 
matter. He takes his wallet off his back and puts it in front of 
him as a shield, and the bullets all fall off him like water off a 
goose s back. " Oh," thinks Dmitro, " so that s what it means ! 
It was not for nothing that I brought the wallet with me : it means 
there is great strength in the wallet, for bombs do not get through 
it. See how they rebound from it like tennis balls. Oh, how 
glad I should be if I could get to father and hand the wallet over 
to him ! Then for certain no German devil would take it from 
him." He keeps on thinking, and holds the wallet in front of 
him, stretching his hands forward. Out of the wallet is stick 
ing a piece of bacon and whole sausages rolled in rings. His 
hands grow numb with the strain and are ready to drop under 
the weight, but he holds on with his last remaining strength. 
But the cloud moves on towards him, and there are the Germans 
before his very nose. 

" Stop ! " cries the leader of the Germans in an awful voice, 
" what is this he has in his hands ? Eh, you boy, what is that 
you ve got ? 

" Ah, you try, you beast of a German, and then you will 
know what it is." 

The German leader pulls a piece of bacon out of the wallet, 
puts it into his mouth, sticks his nail-like teeth into it, bites a 
piece off, and chews it. 

" Yes, that is bacon," he says, and suddenly through all the 
army there resounds the cry, Bacon, bacon, bacon." And 
millions of hands stretch out to the German leader that he may 
give them bacon. 

* So that is an army," thinks Dmitro, * and they cannot 
have eaten for two or three days." 

But now such a strange thing happened that Dmitro gazed 
at it, and did not know whether to believe his eyes. The German 
leader chewed the bacon, swallowed it, and fell heavily to the 
ground, and at the same moment another tore with his teeth a 
morsel from the same piece, chewed it, swallowed it, and fell 
down likewise. The piece of bacon went for a walk through 


the whole army. The Germans gnawed it, their eyes blazing 
with greed, but it never grew any smaller. They gnawed it and 
fell down dead, and their horses, and dogs, and cows, and cats, 
and rats after them, from having merely smelt the odour of it. 
And they lay in thousands nay, there must have been a whole 
million there. In short, not one single German was left in the 
land of the living. They were all quite dead, so that there was 
not one left even to take prisoner. 

Dmitro stands before them and thinks : " How did I do 
this to them ? With a single scrap of bacon. Why, the wallet 
is as full as it was before : it contains only one piece less. 
However did it come to pass ? They had guns, and I had only 
a piece of bacon." 

He thinks and thinks, and suddenly he claps his hand to his 

Ah, yes, that s it. I understand. The bacon was Ortho 
dox, and so, of course, the Germans were not able to bear it. 
Why, only yesterday morning the priest came to us and said 
prayers, and sprinkled everything with holy water, in the cottage 
and in the shed and in the storeroom, so it must be that the 
bacon also was hallowed. Yes, and I remember too that all 
Orthodox folks break their fast on bacon on Christmas Day, 
so why should it not have power against the Germans ? 

Dmitro understood all this and made up his mind that he 
must go on all the same so as to find his father somewhere or 
other at last. But whither could he turn ? To the right, to the 
left, forward or backward, everywhere dead bodies of Germans 
were heaped up, whole mountains of them before him, and he 
could not move in any direction. What was he to do ? Could 
he possibly stay in the midst of this German graveyard ? No, 
indeed, he was not that sort. A boy who goes straight from 
his bed on the stove and with a single piece of bacon slays 
a whole army on the spot, is it likely that he would not find out 
what to do ? What ! Was he a heathen ? He had simply 
to put up his hand and cross himself and then all these German 
devils would vanish. And so he did. He crossed himself once. 
All things that were round about him began to move away, 
somewhere farther and farther away. Then immediately he 


made the sign of the cross for the second time, and everything 
became grey as though changing into mist, just like a sort of 
smoke rising up from the earth. And Dmitro crossed himself 
the third time, and, when he looked up and turned his head first 
to one side and then to another, he stood as if frozen to the spot 
in amazement. 


But really there was no reason why anybody should be 
amazed. For, if this was the War, then, of course, not only the 
Germans would be here, but our soldiers too. So there was 
nothing surprising about it when a dense and tall forest opened 
out before him, nor, moreover, that, though it was winter, the 
forest was all green and blooming, and round him was a valley all 
covered with fresh young grass and sprinkled over with all sorts 
of flowers. From beyond the wood the ringing tones of the 
trumpet came forth, sweet and harmonious, mingled with the deep 
roll of the drum. 

Then out from the wood dashed horsemen in red and blue coats 
and wearing high fur caps, and amidst them, on a white horse, 
rode the General, grave and majestic, with a long flowing grey 
beard. It was easy to see that he was the General, for his coat 
was all embroidered with gold. And after him an innumerable 
army came riding on horses, waving banners of many colours. 

Dmitro never doubted for a moment that these were our 
soldiers. It was quite evident. They were all such tall fine 
men, and their clothes were beautiful. And, besides, to whom 
could such a splendid army belong ? Not to the Germans, 
certainly. Impossible he had just seen himself what ugly 
monsters they were. But these were splendid young men, one 
just like another, as though they had been matched on purpose. 
Well," thinks Dmitro, "if our army is coming here, that 
means that father is here too. For of course where else could 
he be ? 

" Why ! so this is what it is like at the War. And I, like 
a silly, thought that father was sitting somewhere in a ditch 
keeping watch upon the Germans, and that he would be sad 


and hungry. And now see what fine fellows they are, prancing 
about on horses, and nothing of that sort at all. And he began 
to look eagerly at the faces of the innumerable horsemen who 
were riding behind the General, but he could not see father 
anywhere among them. And now they rode up close to him 
and halted. 

" Tru-tu-tu. . . . Tru-tu-tu. . . . Tru-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu." 
The trumpeters blew their trumpets, pointing the wide mouths 
of their instruments straight at him, and after that the General 
rode up to him on his white charger. ; Why," said the General, 
looking down at him, here is some boy or other. And we 
thought there was a mighty army here. But where has the 
army gone ? Come, boy, tell me, where has the army gone ? 

* I have not seen any army," answered Dmitro, not a bit 
frightened. There were some German devils here, but I killed 
them all on the spot, and now there is not a trace of them left." 
" So you killed them is that it ? " 
Yes, who else ? Of course, I . . ." 

c But how did you do it ? You have not even a gun ! 

; What should I do with a gun ? I don t even know how 
to fire one. I did not do it with a gun. I did it with bacon." 
" Oh ! with bacon. H m. Well, tell us how you did it." 

I did not do it at all. That frightful German who was 
in the middle of them . . ." 

The General ? " somebody prompted him. 

N-no, that s too much ! How do you think Germans 
could have a General ? He was riding on a cow. Do you think 
Generals ride on cows ? Everybody knows that Generals always 
ride on white horses. Well, he took a piece of bacon and 
began to gnaw it, and he chewed and chewed and fell down 
dead. And then they all began to chew they must have been 
hungry and they all fell dead. And I looked up and there was 
a whole mountain of them, and I thought to myself, : Where 
can I put them ? And then I started to cross myself one, 
two, three times and they all disappeared through the earth. 
And just then you came up." 

" A brave boy ! said the General. Now, then, blow 
the trumpets in his honour." 


The trumpeters sounded something uncommon and majestic. 

" Now, bring him a horse and put him on it. But perhaps, 
as he is a little fellow, he may fall off." 

" I fall off ! Why, in summer when the horses go into the 
meadows I jump right on to their backs with a run." 

Then, taking his wallet in the left hand, with the right 
Dmitro seized the mane of the horse, which was already standing 
before him, put his foot in the stirrup, and in the twinkling of 
an eye was in the saddle. 

" Forward, boys ! commanded the General, and set spurs 
to his white charger. And all the army dashed through the 
valley, and he, Dmitro, with them, and he galloped so that sparks 
flew on all sides from his horse s feet. And all the time he was 
beside the General. They galloped and galloped, and when 
they had galloped a hundred versts, Dmitro at last got tired. 
And what was the meaning of it all ? His wallet flapped against 
his sides, and when he looked at it he saw all the contents were 
dropping out of it. And what was this wallet for ? Was he some 
beggar ? Why, see, all the soldiers had guns or lances, and the 
General had an enormous cannon on his back and he, Dmitro, 
had a wallet ! And he could not by any means understand 
what he had that wallet for, and what necessity there had been 
for him to bring such a quantity of bacon and sausages. He 
racked his brains, he rubbed his forehead, but try as he would, 
he could not remember. It must be that frenzied gallop which 
had addled his brains and set his head in a whirl. 

He did not remember how he had got here into this perfectly 
strange place, galloping on a horse among millions of horsemen, 
nor really what it was that had happened. He felt only one 
thing, and that was that the saddle he was sitting on was burning 
hot and was roasting him unbearably, roasting him so that he 
could not sit still. " No," said he. " I had rather get down 
and go along somehow on foot, for I am being broiled like 
a sucking-pig in a frying-pan." No sooner said than done. 
He stopped the horse, dismounted, and went on foot along the 
blazing hot road all alone, and he went so far perhaps for more 
than a day that his feet were fairly dropping off with fatigue, 
and his throat was parched with thirst. He was longing so for 


something to drink, that if he had met with a river, he would 
have drunk up all the water that was in it. 

His wallet was hanging at his back, and in it were bacon 
and sausages, but these were salt, and the mere sight of them 
made his thirst so violent that it was quite unbearable. * O 
Lord, my God," said Dmitro in a whisper with lips parched and 
cracked, what have I come here for, and where am I going 
to ? " 

He lay down with his face on the ground and wept. But 
the ground was so hot that it was as though somebody was heating 
it from underneath. 

Eh, boy, what are you crying about ? Now, then, lift up 
your head and look this way." 

Above him there sounded an old man s voice, harsh and 
somehow familiar. He raised his head and sat on the grass. 
Beside him was sitting a little old man, bent and shrivelled, with 
a bald head, and on his face, wrinkled with age, there grew, 
instead of hair, as it were a sort of white feathers. He recognised 
the old man, and he recognised him as if he had known him 
long, long ago, only he could not remember what his name was. 

" Well, don t cry. Oh, silly boy ! Don t you know me ? 

" I know you," says Dmitro, " only I 

" Ah ! only ! Oh, silly ! Can it be that I am grand 
father Anikei ? " 

" Yes, yes that s it. Grandfather Anikei only only 

" He, he, he ! laughed the old man, and from his mouth 
projected his one and only tooth, all alone in his mouth, as if it 
had been put there on guard. * And perhaps I used to be watch 
man at the pumpkin plot your father and Khariton Tkachenko 
had you know they always used to share the working of it." 

" That is it," cried out Dmitro joyfully. " Grandfather 
Anikei he used to mind the pumpkin plot. And where can 
I find father ? See, I am longing and longing to find him, and 
I can t anyhow. And I am so thirsty, and the sun is scorching 
me, and I want a drink, and my lips are cracked, and I have no 
strength to go on any farther." 

" That is because you are a stupid fellow, though you are a 
brave boy, and have killed the whole German army with a 


single piece of bacon. All the same, you are a stupid donkey. 
You turn your head a bit and look round you, my boy." 

Dmitro looked round and cried out for joy. Under his very 
nose there ran a stream, its transparent water flowing over a soft 
sandy bottom, and on its brink were bending down to it young 
green willow-trees, and their branches hung down to the very 
water, and they dipped their tips in it. Dmitro jumped to his 
feet with one quick movement, took off his clothes, boots, shirt 
and all, and threw them down under the willows, rushed down, 
and, plunging his parched lips into the river, drank the fresh, 
cool, clean water as though he could never stop. Then, when 
he had bathed, he swam about and plunged and turned somer 
saults, and it seemed to him that never in his life had he ever felt 
so delightful a sensation. 

* Now, that s enough," said his grandfather. The time 
is getting on ; see, the sun is sinking down in the west, and you 
have got to search for your father." 

Dmitro sprang out of the river at once, dried himself in the 
sun, and dressed himself. His wallet was lying there, he felt 
it all over ; everything was all right, the sausages and bacon 
all in their place. 

* Now, I m ready," he said, " my feet don t feel any more 
as if they would drop off, and I can go on again as long as you 
like. But do tell me, grandfather Anikei, in what direction 
I must go to look for father." 

Grandfather Anikei laughed good-naturedly, and his solitary 
tooth moved about strangely in his mouth. " Why should you 
go very far ? he said. Don t you see the people moving 
about over there across the river ? Those are our valiant soldiers. 
Wherever you look it is all heads heads on every side. Right 
to the edge of the earth where it joins itself to the sky, it is all in 
possession of our brave army. So go you thither, for certainly 
your father is there, he can be nowhere else." 

But, grandfather Anikei, couldn t you come with me ? 
Though you are an old man, people will respect you." 

I . . . yes, I might go. Why shouldn t I go too and 
help the little chap ? only, you see, I ... h m . . . h m." 

Dmitro looked round, but in the place where grandfather 


Anikei had been there was only the trodden grass ; he had simply 
vanished through the ground. As he had appeared, so he 

Dmitro slung the wallet over his back and went to the river, 
stepping over it as though it were only some little ditch or other, 
and then was off straight towards the army. 

When he arrived there the soldiers stared at him. What 
sort of young dare-devil was this ? Where did he come from ? 
Dmitro bowed to the soldiers and took off his cap and said, " Are 
you good people ? are you our brave army ? They answered, 
Yes, we are. But where do you come from, boy, and what 
do you want here ? 

* I was born at the village of Merschilov," said Dmitro, 
* and my Christian name is Dmitro, and my surname is Koval 
chuk. I got down off the stove and came here to the War to see 
my father, Arkhip Kovalchuk, who is serving among the soldiers. 
And I have brought him a wallet with bacon and sausages, so that 
he may have something for breakfast on Christmas Day." 

What ! is it possible ? Bacon and sausages ! Yes, so it is, 
actually bacon and sausages. Only," said the Colonel, " we have 
no soldier of that name. Ho, somebody over there, look in the 
list and see if we have a man called Arkhip Kovalchuk." 

There is nobody of that name," answered some one from 
a distance. 

But how is there not when father is at the War ? Why 
God forbid ! can he have been killed ? 

Ho, you over there, look in the list of the killed and see if 
there is a man there called Arkhip Kovalchuk." 

No such name." 

Thank God ! " cried Dmitro, and crossed himself. That 
means he is still alive. But then, what has become of him ? He 
is neither in the list of the living nor of the dead. So where is 
he to be found ? 

* Ho, you over there, look in the third list and see whether 
Arkhip Kovalchuk is not there." 

Yes, he is there. Arkhip Kovalchuk is in the list of 

Oh, how grand. How delightful that my father is a hero. 


But all the same, I must see him and hand over the wallet to him. 
So please let me do so." 

Very well, you shall see him." 

Dmitro sees his father in the distance and he waves his hand 
to him joyfully, and runs towards him. On his breast dangle 
a great many medals, and beside them a cross. Father was now 
only about a hundred paces away from him, but Dmitro all at 
once began to feel very hot, his side was being scorched as if 
with red-hot iron. And as it grew still worse he could not bear 
it, and cried out, " Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! " And suddenly father 
disappeared in a cloud, and the whole army disappeared after 


There, thank God, he s awake at last. I thought he never 
would wake up," said Marika from down beside the stove. 
Come, get down from the stove and read out this letter ; it 
has only just this minute been brought from the government 
district office ; it is from your father at the War. Come, come, 
now, Dmitro, move." 

Dmitro got down from the stove, holding himself with both 
hands away from the excessively hot part of it, and looked in a 
dazed way at his mother and could not understand anything. 
Then Marika poured some cold water into a basin and washed 
his face well, and at last he came back to his senses. 

So I was dreaming," he said, terribly downcast, " and I 
thought . . ." 

And he told Marika everything he had gone through in 
his dream. And then he sat down at the table, tore open the 
envelope, and began with great pains to spell out the scrawl 
written by Arkhip s own hand. But Arkhip had written not 
from the War but from Kiev, where he was lying in hospital, 
having been wounded in the foot. He told them that he was 
now better, and that very soon, perhaps even before the holidays 
were over, he was coming to his own village on leave. 

There now," said Marika, when she had heard the letter, 
your dream was not for nothing. Only, O Lord, my God, 
he is wounded. It may be seriously he may be in a bad way 
God only knows what has happened to his foot." 


Yes, mother, that is why father is a hero, because he has 
been wounded," said Dmitro, unconsciously confusing dream and 
reality. You see, that is what the Colonel said. Your father, 
Arkhip Kovalchuk, says he, is a hero. It was the Colonel 
himself who said it." 

On the fourth day of the festival Arkhip arrived at the village. 
He undoubtedly was a hero that was shown by the cross upon 
his breast. And he limped a little. He had come to the village 
to enjoy a little fresh air after the hospital, but not for long 
only two weeks in all. 

And when Dmitro saw father in that grey cloak and high boots 
and fur cap, it seemed to him that he was just exactly in the cloak 
and boots and cap and had the same cross as when he, Dmitro, 
had run towards him in the presence of the whole army and the 
Colonel himself. Run towards him, but never reached him. 
Oh, why at that very minute must his place on the stove have 
got so dreadfully hot that he could not bear it any longer ? 



BEFORE the awful vision of this war 

Our prayerful knees we bend in silent dread . . 

And, tearless, watch the long procession pass, 

The dear shades of our dead. 
No need of tears, the gall of our great grief 
To tears our eyelids will for ever close ; 
What need is there to us of trickling tears 

When blood in torrents flows ? 

Like a wild element the rider Death, 
In fury ravaging our native land, 
Seizes, to bear away on rapid steed, 

Our youths, with his grim hand. 
Shall we with murmurs cry to Him above, 
Whose ways mysterious are known to none ? 
Will victory march at last in honour s wake, 

Right come into its own ? 

Let it to us be manifest that the earth 
Purification needs by cleansing fire, 
So that our pitiful poor natal fields 

May rise to something higher ; 
Believing that our soldiers sacred blood, 
Sinking, and vivifying depths below, 
To new and vernal freshness will give birth 

In glorious overflow ; 
And that this cruel, sanguinary stream 
Is opening a pathway to the dawn . . . 

How should we else live through the long dark night, 
But to await the morn ? 



A LINE from the Alps to the Pas de Calais, 
It runs like a path all the long dismal way, 
A colourless ribbon it slashes and cuts 
The fair land of France with its terrible ruts. 
And dead s all beside it, no homestead, no tree, 
Perhaps here and there a few crosses you see, 
Or ruins and dust that were buildings of old, 
And corpses and corpses, all lifeless and cold. 

A line from the Alps to the Pas de Calais, 
It runs like a path all the long dreary way, 
To right and to left it s hemmed in miles and miles 
With trenches, embankments, and sandbags in piles. 
And rolling like thunder by night and by day 
The guns from those trenches prolong the affray, 
And thence keeping time with the roar and the clashes, 
Burst clouds of white vapour and rosy-red flashes. 

A line from the Alps to the Pas de Calais, 

It runs like a path all the long dreary way, 

And parting two peoples that lie there in wait, 

It turns to a pathway of curses and hate. 

Day follows day, but unyielding again 

The bayonets flash, flows the blood of the slain, 

The millions assembled where bullets are flying 

Hear the clatter of swords and groans of the dying. 






EARLY one morning in the beginning of February I received an 
invitation by telephone from General L. to join him at once at 
his quarters. 

I found him, a young man, well built and confident-looking, 
already dressed for travelling, wearing a silver-braided Caucasian 
tunic and a Caucasian cap and cowl. 

Ready ? Let us be off. Take a seat in the motor." 

The morning is beautiful. I am in a light summer overcoat. 
A very warm wind blows strongly in our faces. Beside the 
General I am beside the chauffeur is a soldier with a rifle. 
The car flies like an arrow along the straight, wide, clean streets 
of Batum. It glides easily over the bridges it swims it flies. 

* Good morning, brother ! shouts the General to a pass 
ing soldier. * Good morning, Excellency ! " Good morning, 
policeman ! Good morning, sailor ! The General is courteous 
to all of lower rank. In his intercourse with them one may 
divine in a moment the presence of a very close bond of union. 
The voice of its commander welds the various parts of the army 
into one homogeneous body, capable at any given moment of 
translating words into action with the precision of a machine. 
The car flies on the white one-storeyed houses of the suburbs 
fly backwards, the government buildings outside the town flash 

* Good morning ! Good morning ! 

The grey ribbon of the highway streams down towards us 
from the mass of dark blue mountains flecked with white and 



gold and rosy lights the mountains rush to meet us on flies the 
car with breathless speed. The wind blows with redoubled 
force, yet hot still, almost burning. 

Buffalo carts pull clumsily to the side to let the car pass by, 
town phaetons give way hurriedly, saddle horses shy, tearing up 
the stones from the roadway with their stamping hoofs. Their 
riders, fully armed and wearing the Caucasian tunic and high fur 
cap, can scarcely control them. 

" Keep to the right ! Keep to the right ! " 

The horsemen draw aside, they leap over ditches into the 
fields of maize and rice, and then the whole scene disappears 
behind the flying car, bound to do almost forty versts to get 
the General to Borchkha in time to allow of his inspecting the 
positions there and taking me back in the evening to Batum. 


The road smooth as a mirror projected and constructed 
by the energy of the General, begins to climb up the mountains 
in zigzag curves. Mountains to the right, mountains to the 
left. A ravine. At the bottom of it roars the turbid yellow 
Chorokh, its foaming, irresistible current challenging the speed 
of the car. 

The General is one of those people who do not love question 
ing. His mind is strongly concentrated his answers are brief 
and to the point. Enormous power is in his hands, but his 
responsibilities are enormous too. 

Here in these heights, within five versts of Batum, they 
used to be all Turks," he says. " But now they are only at 
Borchkha. They have been driven back a distance of forty or 
fifty versts. As far as you can see along the gorge our men have 
advanced victoriously." 

The General had taken over an arduous task. 

The Ajarts, who inhabit the far end, have been crushed. 
But they had been in open revolt, and even now, in spite of all 
their declarations and deputations, it is very possible that serious 
trouble may arise from that quarter. Upper Ajaria requires to 
be carefully watched. We had to clear the district from Turkish 


usurpations, and recover possession inch by inch of territory 
which for half a century has belonged to us. On the land we have 
the powerful enemy resting on Ajaria on the sea the Goeben 
and the Breslau. But the valour of Russia has come forth with 
honour from the trial. The end is still far off, of course, but a 
beginning is made and we can foresee what the conclusion of it all 
will be. Just see what sort of places these are ! How grievous it 
would be if they were not to be ours. But we are just coming 
to a waterfall, on the left, so beautiful that one might look at it 
for a lifetime," says the General. And indeed the waterfall is 
striking. Its wonder lies not so much in its majesty as in the 
enchanting beauty of its perfect proportions, its crystal trans 
parency and brightness, and the impression they give of a certain 
intimate charm. It is like the airy structure of some wondrous 
vision a towering castle of crystal. 

Swiftly the waterfall flashes by. The car rushes up the 
zigzags now right, now left now up, now down. 


We shoot past various bodies of troops, large and small, with 
their baggage trains. Now and again the General stops the car, 
summons commanders of the various units and others of lower 
rank as well, gives orders, makes remarks. He enters into every 
trifling detail it is details which compose the whole. 

I am a commander, but still more I am a human being," 
says the General to me. I am sorry for a soldier who is suffering 
from a boil. But you yourself will agree with me is it possible, 
in a position where every single man is valuable, to send him 
to the hospital at Batum ? And dozens of such cases arise. I 
have put a stop to it. If a man is seriously ill he goes ; but if it 
is something slight he remains at his post." 

Here and there native buildings appear, mostly uninhabited, 
sometimes with marks of bullets on them huts like swallows* 
nests clinging to the cliffs two-storeyed houses with red-tiled 
roofs and walls of white tiles or bricks, windows on the upper 
storey and fragile little verandahs villages occupied by troops. 

In the wooded meadows along the Chorokh tents glisten 


white, horses stand ready saddled, and men are drawn up 
in line. 

" Good morning, brothers ! 

" Good morning, Excellency ! " they shout in reply. 

" Fine fellows ! I am pleased with you ! 

The car flies on like a car on a cinematograph film, which 
dashes furiously as though right on to the spectator, vanishes, 
and in the next picture has gone from him, and changed with 
instantaneous rapidity into a little cloud of dust, a mere point 
in the distance. Zigzag after zigzag. And everywhere cliffs, 
precipices, mountains, like masses of cloud, and everywhere the 
Chorokh, turbid, foaming, uncontrollable. 

Look, I am going to show you some typical Turkish 
entrenchments there they are, on that hill ! " says the General. 
But at such a speed as ours it is hard to see them the General 
himself cannot point them out. On we rush flying like shot or 
shell we leap over plank bridges by the side of blown-up iron 
ones, and, still making our way by half a hundred zigzags, we 
fly at last into Borchkha. 


To meet us out come the Commandant of the Division 
General M., the Staff Commander, officers, doctors. General L. 
shakes hands with all, and introduces me. It is a thoroughly 
typical camp. Tents in the meadow, soldiers, cases of ammuni 
tion, horses, piles of timber. Borchkha is divided by the river 
Chorokh into two halves the Russian and the Turkish. It is 
a pretty little town of small white houses in the ordinary local 
style of architecture, and standing very close together. On the 
whole, a very picturesque place. 

The Generals talk together. I look through a field-glass 
at the Turkish positions, and fail to see a single Turk. High 
blue-green rugged mountains tower on the horizon. Afterwards 
General L. (he is both Commandant and Governor-General) 
goes to inspect a building destined for a hospital, and finds it 
satisfactory. In one part of this house soldiers lie sleeping in 
hammocks scouts, who have spent the whole night in the perilous 


duty of despatch -carrying. We do not disturb them. The 
Commandant, well known for the strictness of his discipline, 
even lowers his voice as he comes in. Let them rest. 

" What about the Turks ? 

" They have been shelling us a little." 

" Do they let you get a sight of them ? 

" Yesterday a detachment of about two hundred strong was 
to be seen." 

" And how many of our men were there ? 

" About a hundred, Excellency." 

" About a hundred ? The Turks should have been wiped 
out. There must be no Turks left, brothers," says the General, 
turning to the rank and file. " There must be none left," he 
says in another tone to the officers. 

" How can one explain this curious circumstance, Excellency ? 
begins General M. when we are out on the road and about to 
turn round the cliff. How is it that you no sooner give an 
indication or an order for a movement to any place than we find 
the enemy is already there and we come into collision with him ? 
Does not this lead one to suspect some secret information given to 
the Turks ? " 

" Given to the Turks ? I doubt it, your Excellency. I 
rather think that in such a case you should, on the contrary, 
suspect your commander of being well aware of what he is 
doing," said the General, and the shadow of a smile played over 
his face. 

Your Excellency," says a captain, rushing up, I venture 
to warn you the place whither you are just going is being shelled 
by the Turks." 

Let us separate, gentlemen," orders the General. 

He goes on ahead ; three paces behind him the commander 
of the division, then myself and the officers. 

: Well, can we sit here ? asks the General, going behind a 
deserted shop, on whose floor were yet lying shreds of leaf tobacco. 
It is safer here." 

" Sit down." 

The General and I sit down upon a flat stone parapet on the 
edge of the cliff, and General M. offers us a luncheon straight 


from the soldiers kitchen. It is served in wooden bowls, and we 
are given a piece of bread and two wooden spoons. The cabbage 
soup, brought to us by a soldier, is excellent and savoury, and 
we eat it with relish. 

The sound of the guns grows more frequent. 

" The Turks have grown insolent we must put them in their 
place ! " says the General. And after thanking our host for 
his kind entertainment, we make our way back. 

We go to where the howitzers are, and stay there. 

" Give the Turks a good fright ! 

The howitzers stand upon the river bank. There lie the 
six-inch shells. The gunners load them into the breech, the 
aiming is done whether correctly or not must be learned from 
the observing point. 

I stand two paces away. All close their ears and open their 

" Fire ! " 

The guns roar, discharge a cloud of smoke, deafen us. 

" Five points more to the right," signals the observing 

Again the gun is aimed, again its thunder crashes forth. 

" Capital." 

After this another battery discharges some shells. 

" That will do," says the General. " They will be quiet 
for to-day. Now then, let us have some kvass and go back 

We sit in the shade below the cliff, a small table is brought 
to us, and some kvass. We quench our thirst whilst talking about 
current affairs. 

" In short, gentlemen, there ought to be fewer Turks," says 
the General as he takes leave of the officers. 

The zigzags again up, down, ascents, descents the Chorokh 
creeping like a yellow snake through the narrow windings of 
the Chkhalsky gorge dissolving views of camp life, and camp 
welcome. In the evening the thunder of the guns reaches us 
at Batum. 




IT was a holiday at the close of a temperate summer, and it was 
warm and slightly foggy. The mist, which was penetrated with 
the pungent smell of burning, had lasted five days. But it had 
now begun to disperse, the sky above shone blue, and high over 
head could be seen the fairy outline of clouds. 

Beneath the veil of the thinning fog the fields, the as yet 
untinted trees, and the motionless river of a joyous blue, all 
seemed ethereal and blissful ; there was, moreover, no one to 
be seen. Losing oneself in thoughts, in dreams, in oblivion, 
one might have imagined oneself transported to Paradise. 

The river had but just resounded with the whistling of two 
or three steamers, and its broad bosom still rang with faint echoes 
from the noiseless banks. 

Leaning his back against a birch tree, on the moss-clad earth 
of the lofty bank, sat a dark, bronzed, bare-legged boy, in a 
short light suit. He looked about fifteen years old, which was 
in fact his age. 

He was eagerly reading a book, rapidly turning over the 
pages, often looking back to what he had already read. Then 
he would meditate for a moment, and a line showing mental 
concentration contracted his black brow into two rigid curves. 

The rustling of approaching steps was heard. The boy 
looked vexed, turned round, and then broke into a smile. A 
girl was approaching, barefoot, in a red sarafan* a bunch of fine 

1 This peasant frock (with shoulder straps) of former times is often affected by girls of 
the upper classes in their country summer life. 



rowan berries in her hand. He gazed at her admiringly ; it 
always gave him pleasure that she was so merry and pretty and 
well-built. She was just a year younger than he, and a very 
great friend of his. 

They greeted one another. The boy, observing a narrow 
white bandage wound around instep and tread of her sunburnt 
foot, asked : 

" What is this, Kitty ? Have you cut your foot ? : 

Katya laughed, and, sitting down by the boy s side, replied : 

" Yesterday in the field I flourished a reaping-hook care 
lessly. Will you have some rowan berries ? I plucked them 
on purpose for you. They are nice and ripe already." x 

" Thank you, Kitty. Yes, we are both of us still clumsy 
and awkward. But we went, all the same, to help. Well, never 
mind, next year things will perhaps go better." 

Katya leaned her shoulder against his and said : 

But I, Laurie, am quite satisfied with this summer." 

* Is it better than the last ? " asked the boy. 

" Oh yes ! " replied Katya with conviction. I could not 
even conceive then that, however hard it was and it was almost 
unbearable it was at the same time such a joy." 

Laurence smilingly looked at her and said : 

Five hundred years ago a boy just like me came to the river, 
and with ringing voice sang : 

In the fields the flowrets 
Flower away, 
In the meadows maidens 
Merrily stray. 

But a thousand years ago only wolves trotted about here, and 
a dense forest murmured. Everything in the world becomes 
better from year to year, from century to century. Nature her 
self learns from us, and now she is more refined, more spiritual, 
she knows more, and is better disposed to us than she was when 
our prehistoric ancestors walked the earth." 

Katya smiled, and, shaking her head, said : 

11 You are just a little pretentious over this, Laurie. Do you 
really think we are better than our fathers ? 

1 The rowan or mountain ash berries are much relished by Russians. 


Not better, but happier," said Laurence confidently ; 
" more fortunate." 

"To listen to mother," said Katya, "we are much worse. 
We tread the earth instead of using our wings." 

Laurie flamed up and said hotly : 

" Well, yes, I know our elders talked a lot of superfluous 
stuff about their usefulness to the world, their nearness to life, 
their aversion to everything that was obscure. But that is not 
the question anything but. The chief thing is that we simply 
came into the world more fortunate." 

The children often discussed such subjects. They frequently 
met, both during the winter and in the summer. They lived 
next door to one another in the town, and now in their date has* 
Their parents were intimate friends. The boy and the girl were 
for that reason convinced that they were born for one another, 
and they loved each other with an innocent, rarely spoken love. 

The course of their lives had run smoothly and peacefully, 
though the stormy year had touched their families with its 
scorching breath. Katya s father, an artillery officer in the 
reserve, was wounded and taken prisoner ; Laurence s father, 
Alexis Nicolaevich, captain in the infantry, long lay in the 
hospital, where they amputated his left leg at the knee. They 
gave him a fine artificial limb, discharged him, and sent him 
home. Now he was spending the whole summer learning to con 
trol his leg. Until quite recently he could never make up his 
mind to discard his crutch, this not so much because the leg 
was hard to manage, as that he had lost his nerve in the terrible 
shocks of war. 

For example," pursued Laurence, getting redder and more 
excited, consider how far from being steadfast and true our 
fathers were in their loves." 

Katya lowered her eyes. She knew that her father had 
children by another woman. She also knew that Lyudmila 
Pavlovna, Laurence s mother, married Alexis Nicolaevich after a 
divorce from her first husband. Yes, she knew that their parents 
had been fickle, both in their sentiments and in their belief. 
* And we ? " she softly asked. 

1 Rural residences. 


" We shall never cease loving one another, shall never change, 
and you know it yourself," replied Laurence with conviction. 

Katya raised her eyelids, and their eyes met. For a moment 
they looked at one another, with crossed, scrutinising gaze, as 
though challenging Fate. And then both suddenly smiled, 
confidently and tenderly. A bitter sweetness pierced their 
hearts, and they once again understood that their two lives were 
intermingled for all eternity. And they had the joy of feeling 
within themselves the loyal beating of valiant hearts, ready to 
answer every call of fleeting life. 

The fantastic contours of light shadows were lying on the 
lofty bank, on the humid grass, and dewdrops merrily sparkled, 
just as at daybreak. No longer bright, but still high in the sky, 
the sun, flaming through the fog s curtain, smiled benevolently 
on the children, without blinding the youthful glances raised 
towards him. Everything around was happy, silent, and pure, 
as in the abode of the saints. And Katya looked at her lover 
with naive rapture. 

The ringing of a neighbouring house-bell was heard. Laurie 
frowningly smiled, and a shade of vexation was audible in his 
voice as he said : 

c It is the summons to dinner. We shall sit down to table. 
Dasha and Nadya will wait upon us, and there will be masters 
and slaves, and nobody thinks this strange." 

1 Not masters and slaves, but rich and poor," said Katya. 

In a perfect society this will not be possible," said Laurence. 

: We shall only be rich collectively, and all, every single person, 

must live free from care in a happy, humble way. Let there be 

splendour, magnificence, and gaiety in the people s palaces, 

but in our homes cosiness, quiet, simplicity." 

" It s not like that now," said Katya. 

; We, Katya, shall change all this when we are masters of 
our own house." 

Katya smiled, and, without saying anything, looked into the 
sky. Laurie thereupon reflected that it would be a long time 
before they were masters of their own house. But, what 
matter ? thought he. " We shall wait ; we have not even built 
the house yet." 


" We shall learn how to, shall build a new one," said he aloud. 

Katya understood. It was not for the first time that they were 
talking of their house of an as yet unconstructed temple for 
Russian life. 

" Are you coming to us in the evening ? " she asked. 

" Yes ; to-day at home ; to-morrow again at work in the 

" Why is there such a fog ? " asked Katya in an injured tone. 

Laurence smiled. 

" I read in the little local paper that it is caused by a burning 
forest in Siberia." 

" What ? From so far ? " asked Katya with a smile. 

" It may be true," said Laurence. In this world every 
thing is connected. But the peasants of the district say that 
somewhere on the other side of the Volga a whole peat-marsh 
is burning. Do you know, I love this fog, Katya dear. 
Everything seen through it is so beautiful, like a holiday-dream. 
Something even better than life." 

" There is nothing better than life," said Katya stoutly. 

Laurence looked at her severely. She shrugged a slender 
shoulder and said : 

* In any necessity I shall give up my life for others ; I shall 
not spare it ; but all the same it s the best thing we have." 

They climbed up to the road by a narrow path, and separated, 
each to their own home. 

Laurie stepped on to the terrace, where they dined in the 
open. His father, in a military grey-green linen suit, was 
standing in the drawing-room doorway, leaning against a jamb 
of the door, and was smiling. The smile entirely transformed 
his stern, emaciated face ; he appeared kind, simple, and so 
handsome, it was easy to understand why women fell in love with 
this man. 

But where is your crutch ? asked Laurie apprehensively. 
: What do I want with a crutch, my boy ? I have left it 
in the house. I am learning to use my artificial leg. It is not 
so bad ; I can walk a little. I rested for a while, and my nerves 
grew stronger. The minutes now no longer drag, grasping 
the crutch tightly so as not to fall." 


So saying, Alexis Nicolaevich walked almost naturally 
to the table and sat down next to his wife. Lyudmila Pavlovna 
was visibly worried about something, and her face, under the 
slight tan of a northern summer, appeared to Laurence to have 
grown paler and more drawn. She looked at her husband with 
a vague expression. Laurie wondered, wanted to ask something, 
but restrained himself. His mother softly sighed, looked at 
Laurence with her wonted keen and anxious eyes, and, noticing 
in his hand, together with the book, the now ragged bunch of 
rowan berries, asked : 

" Have you been with Katya ? 
Yes, mother dear." 

The father was animated, pugnacious. He wanted to talk, 
to argue. Pointing to Laurence, he said to his wife : 

* If you let him, he ll expound his theories to you. Why, 
he already has his own theory as to the new generation. He 
already looks down upon us just a little." 

Laurence slightly reddened. 

* God forbid, father dear ; you are heroes." 

Yes, yes, heroes, but. . . . Where is your but ? said the 
father banteringly. " In this but lies the whole gist of the matter. 
Well, speak up, there s nothing to be embarrassed about." 

Laurence slightly shrugged his shoulders and said : 

You are heroes, but not soldiers. You are capable of 
exploits which would have frightened the most famous heroes 
of ancient times, but, all the same, you are too heroic. You are 
ready for doughty deeds, for self-sacrifice, your goal glory, 
and if you are victorious it is by chance. But we shall be soldiers. 
Not heroes, but machines for victory. Nobody will conquer 
us. Through us Russia will be strong and invincible. And 
nobody will ever betray us, we shall see to that." 

Alexis Nicolaevich laughed. 

; What magnificent self-confidence ! Well, and what will 
you do if your Katya changes ? 

Laurie smiled confidently. 

I know that this will never happen," he said quietly. * For 
we shall not be true to one another simply because I attract her 
and she me." 


" Love without attraction ? What kind of love is that ? 
asked Lyudmila Pavlovna, a little annoyed. 

" Pure love, * again blushing, replied Laurence. : With 
us everything will be bondless : morality without constraint, 
duty without compulsion, love without madness." 

" And wine without alcohol ? " asked the father. 

" We shall never drink," replied Laurence. We shall 
live simply and faithfully, Kitty for me, I for her, we shall 
need nothing else. We shall not fall in love with beautiful 
women and handsome men. Beauty is not necessary to us." 

The father sighed and said : 

: What is to be, nobody knows. It is enough to know what 
we ourselves want. Look you, they have taken off one of my 
legs, have put on an artificial one, but I want to walk, and I walk. 
I want to help in the fight, and I shall. I want to means that 
I can. Duty without compulsion, this, Laurie, was not your 
invention ; you learned this from us." 

The mother looked reproachfully at Laurie. He reddened 
and dropped his eyes to his plate. 

The fog on the river was growing denser. On its waters a 
big passenger boat swiftly steamed along, panting heavily in 
measured beat through the steel lungs of her machinery, her 
bright lights flashing. When she had passed by, the shadows 
in the garden grew deeper, and suddenly on the white stems 
of the birch trees there fell a quivering glow of purple 

Dasha, the maid, screamed out : * Lord have mercy, there s 
a fire somewhere ! 

And at the same moment the summoning clang of the alarm 
bell on the neighbouring church began to sound. 

Laurie jumped up from the table, and, with the swiftness of 
a beast of the wilds, rushed to his room to dress. Within a 
minute he ran out again, on to the terrace, awkwardly endeavour 
ing, as he ran, to adjust his grey stocking at the right knee. 
! Ready so soon ? enquired Alexis Nicolaevich. 
Always ready ! " shouted Laurie. 

He started to run along a side walk to the road leading to the 


" Always ready," softly repeated the father. 

He turned round to his wife, took her hand, pressed it firmly. 
Lyudmila Pavlovna looked at him in silence with a strained 
smile. She shivered slightly. 

" Are you cold, Lyudmila ? " he asked tenderly. 

* No," she replied tenderly too. 

They were silent. And again, with set bronzed face, the 
officer softly spoke : 

Well, Lyudmila, the leg does splendidly. I think they ll 
accept me. I shall be useful in some way or other. But, Lyud 
mila, what do you say ? Will you let me go ? 

She bent her head and began to weep. Then she looked up 
at her husband. Though there was suffering in its lines, her 
face was radiant. 

Alexis Nicolaevich put his arms round her, drew her to him, 
and looked at her sternly, yet tenderly. 

"When will all this end, Alexis ? ". . . said she. " But don t 
think I am murmuring. Good God, if it is so necessary, what 
am I ? I know I am only one of millions of soldiers and officers 
wives. We took our share of happiness, from God, from the 
world, from our country ; we must also take our portion of sorrow 
and of work." 

1 We cannot help it, Lyudmila," said Alexis Nicolaevich, 
gently caressing his wife. Let us be patient to the end, 
Lyudmila, so that things may be easier for our children." 

* Alexis," asked she, looking at her husband with tired, 
sorrowful eyes, "is it possible that things may be even harder 
for our children ? 

1 May be, Lyudmila," he quietly replied. " That is why 
we must bring them up to be able to bear every burden of life." 



WHEN first those birds of steel took flight 
And rose to their propeller s sound, 
I sung the praise of gallant Wright, 
Who flew up to those realms of light 
That can by frontiers ne er be bound. 

Though weak perhaps the words may seem 
In which the Northern poet spoke, 
They mark for him a deep esteem 
Who real made Leonardo s dream, 
Soared up and earth s dull fetters broke. 

It seemed the wall which nations sever 
Would fall and henceforth state with state, 
United in one vast endeavour, 
Would live and work in peace, and never 
Would discord rule again and hate. 

Yet now these conquerors of the air, 
Those pilots with their birds of steel, 
More dangerous than lightning s flare, 
The frenzy of the Furies share 
And death to harmless infants deal. 

They speed not to an honest fight 
Through Heaven s azure, frank and bold, 
But, secret foes at dead of night, 
They hurl destruction from their height 

Upon the feeble and the old. 



Was it for this (Oh, bitter thought) 
Men reached the azure skies above, 
Those marvels of the air were wrought 
That birds should fly with peril fraught 
Like " Albatros " and German " Dove " ? 



I WAS summoned to the local section of the <c Russian Union of 
Zemstvos," in which I was anxious to serve to the best of my 
strength and intelligence. But, alas, it was not my lot to do so, 
for a number of reasons, of which, perhaps, the chief was my 
utter incapacity for office-work regular, continuous, persever 
ing. In short, I soon perceived that my place would be filled 
far more profitably and with greater advantage to business by 
a zealous worker of the ordinary type than by myself, accustomed 
as I was by more than twenty years passed in the fantastic realms 
of fiction to live without accountability to any one, and without 
being under any control except that of the paternal solicitude 
of a vigilant police. 

Neither did it fall to my lot to pay a visit to the Front : at 
one time there would be no opportunity of doing so, at another 
no motor-car available for the purpose. And, in the long run, 
I myself came to the conclusion that in going there out of idle 
curiosity, in comfort and perfect safety, there would be a certain 
unseemliness . . . well, like the unseemliness of going to observe 
some scene of suffering, like death or child-bearing. But no 
matter. For never by transient pictures, fugitive sketches, nor 
fragmentary stories can one hope to catch even the shadow of 
that great and awful and simple thing which is happening 
out there at the Front. And I am persuaded, moreover, that 
the most skilful narrator, were he the most gifted master of the 
art of words, could never attain to the portrayal of it. 

Thanks, however, to the kindly interest and cordial hospi 
tality of the various delegates and their assistants, I was able to 



obtain a very clear view of many things in fact, if I may so 
express myself, to touch and taste and handle them. 

Several days in succession I visited the establishments of the 
Union, which have risen up so recently or are rising up still 
mills, garages, workshops, clothing and other factories and the 
like. And if one considers that the district of Kiev is only a 
single small cell in the common hive, one cannot help realising 
what a vigorous and strongly-beating pulse it is which marks 
the productive energy of the All Russian Union of Zemstvos. 

In this world-wide, unspeakably tremendous War, side by 
side with our political Allies abroad, this Union is truly our 
ally from within untiring, busy, ardent, transmuting the living 
word into the living deed, without procrastination or useless 
discussion, without red tape delays. Take, for example, a 
manufactory of tanning fluid, requisitioned for the necessities 
of war-time from a private company. 

Probably this factory is the only one of its kind in Russia, for 
hitherto we have either imported our hides ready tanned from 
abroad, or tanned them in vats, using primitive appliances and 
soured and heated bark. The process employed in this factory 
is a long and complicated one, but it is remarkable how rapid 
and dexterous the Russian workpeople and mechanics are over 
it. And not only have they familiarised themselves with the 
process, but they have reduced the price of the precious liquor 
from twelve to six roubles the pood. 

I wandered all over this factory, from top to bottom, from 
cellar to garret, now by shaky spiral staircases, now by bridges 
high in the air, now making my way on all fours under low roofs, 
now melting under unendurable heat, now freezing in the 
piercing draughts of the drying-rooms in the midst of sickening 
sulphur fumes and overwhelming odours of sour bark. My 
guides were Mr. D., the manager of the works, and the repre 
sentative of the Union. The first was a man sparing of move 
ment and gesture, of few words, tranquil, confident, and precise, 
a Russian to his finger-tips, whom from his appearance and 
manner I took at first for an Englishman (an impression not 
seldom made by Russian engineers of the present day who have 
been trained in England). The second was all zeal, boiling over 


with headlong impulsiveness, small of stature, swarthy, figurative 
in speech, with a voice of vivacious and piercing intonation. So 
decided and vigorous was he that he seemed one of those people 
who possess a double portion of vitality, who love work, and are 
able to toil without fatigue and without sleep for several days 
and nights in succession. 

I saw with a feeling of profound respect that to this day, after 
many months of daily toil, every detail and every trifle was as 
near and dear to both as if it were a part of themselves. The 
representative of the Union showed me, with a slight touch 
of pride, how the huge, massive, sharp-toothed steel cylinder, 
in its unceasing revolutions, draws in under itself the formless 
masses of century-old bark, crushes, flattens, crumbles them in 
its mighty jaws, tears them into morsels and chips, and at last 
grinds them into soft crumbs. The machine trembles, the hand 
rail round it trembles, the floor trembles beneath our feet, the 
long-handled feeding-rod of the attendant trembles. We shout 
into one another s very ears, but hear nothing we only see the 
strained expression of each other s faces and the movements of 
mouth and lips. 

The crushed bark is taken up to the floor above in semi- 
oval buckets attached to an endless band, and is there put into 
large cylindrical vessels, much taller than a man, and heated by 
a system of coils, where it stews and sweats in a vacuum. One 
can go up by a ladder and look through a thick round pane 
of glass, through which one can see by the dim light of a small 
electric lamp how the seething, gruel-like mass moves to and fro, 
rises up and bubbles amidst the dense fumes inside. The liquor 
is drawn off in the form of vapour, passes into another vessel, 
and from it into the next, and so on until from the last the thick 
pungent fluid flows into clean new casks of white aspen wood. 
The residue of spent and drained bark goes up in an elevator to 
the drying-room, where it undergoes desiccation, and afterwards 
goes down again into the boiler furnace of the engine which 
serves the entire factory. A magnificent engine this, of five 
hundred horse-power, the heart and soul of the factory. It 
occupies in lordly fashion the whole of the immense brilliantly 
lighted hall. The floor of this hall is paved with a mosaic of 


black and white squares, and through its enormous windows 
pours a great flood of light. Silently revolves the fourteen-foot 
wheel, silently move the mighty pistons, expanding and con 
tracting their muscles of steel, while glittering levers work sliding 
valves, now quickly, now slowly. And a little man in a black 
blouse, with a black face and black hands, thrusts in, now here, 
now there, the long spout of an oil-can, or touches some screw. 
But a midge in comparison with this iron monster, he is never 
theless its absolute master . . . and I am seized with respectful 

After they had shown me the machinery for making the 
casks and putting the bungs into them, they showed me the 
department where sulphur, intended for the preparation of the 
sulphate, was boiling amidst lightning flashes of blue light, and 
giving forth a suffocating odour. 

Finally, I was conducted to the laboratory. There we heard 
a disagreeable piece of news. The tanning solution of the colour 
of yellow beer had not become clear as it should have done 
when the sulphate was added to it in the testing-glass, but, on 
the contrary, had grown gradually dark like tar. A young 
woman, the laboratory assistant, was screwing up her narrow 
dark eyes as she exhibited the test-glass in the light, and whispered 
something with an air of mystery and alarm. The manager 
frowned and shook his head disapprovingly. But the fiery 
representative at once boiled over. * I said long ago that the 
engineer ought not to be retained in the service. He is pur 
posely discrediting the business in the interests of his own patrons, 
so that afterwards all the blame may fall upon us. I shall insist 
on his dismissal this very day." And, wringing his hands in 
profound bitterness, he said passionately, The directors of 
this factory are petitioning for but a million roubles, and in the 
hands of the Exchequer lies the future of a huge, lucrative, and 
perfectly novel enterprise one which is already in full swing. 
But there is no money ! No money ! What is to be done ? 

We went out into the courtyard of the factory. The dinner- 
bell rang. The workpeople went into the kitchen and came out 
again. Some took their places in groups of two and three in 
the deserted workshops, there to eat their thick cabbage soup 


with minced beef and Little- Russian bacon, greasy buckwheat 
gruel, and excellent black bread. 

Amongst the workmen were many prisoners of war Styrians, 
Carinthians, Slovaks, and Dalmatians. They were all tall and 
ugly, with unkempt black beards and frowning looks. In 
passing by us they slightly touched their uniform caps with their 
hands, and sulkily muttered * Good morning." 

" How do they work ? " I asked. 

" Indifferently," answered the manager vaguely. Lazily 
in any case, and unwillingly. They feign illnesses, and at the 
same time gobble till their cheeks are ready to burst. And then, 
you see " and his face shone with animation " our soldiers 
are such splendid workers. They apprehend everything with 
inconceivable quickness, they set to work gaily, cheerfully, 
always in good spirits, unwearied, ready-witted, inventive. With 
a squad of Russian soldiers it is possible to build a house or a 
yacht, to construct a bridge or to copy an aeroplane. And how 
pleasant it is to work with them ! 

We had to wait a long time for our motor ; something had 
happened to the thing they call the magneto, and the chauffeur 
was busy an extraordinarily long time about the engine, now 
driving it headlong as though to certain destruction, now crawling 
under the wheels. 

A remarkably skilful chauffeur," said Mr. D. There is 
only one thing about him, and really I don t know whether to 
call it a merit or a fault. The most ardent of bridegrooms was 
never so much in love with his bride as he is with his engine. 
He will spend whole days attending to it, putting it in order, 
taking it down, cleaning it, and unscrewing it. Well . . . are 
you ready, eh ? 

; Just half a minute more, sir. Directly ! 

Mr. D. might have boldly added to what he had said that 
every member of the Union of Zemstvos, from the highest to 
the lowest, is just as zealously in love with his work, and by this 
affection they sustain and animate one another. 

The following day I was kindly shown a soap factory, a motor 
garage with its repair shops, trains of waggons, bake-houses, 
stores of ambulance materials, clothing factories, where several 


hundreds of men and women bend from morning till night over 
sewing-machines, making uniforms and underclothing for the 
soldiers. And most welcome of all it was to me to see and hear 
that the Russian Union of Zemstvos never pauses when it 
has attained to a certain point, but presses on ever farther and 
higher on its career of uninterrupted creative energy. And in 
this fact lies the surest pledge of its vitality. 

The soap factory was built by the industrious members of the 
Union themselves. The motor section began with just one single 
car, and now there stand in the garage hundreds of steel automo 
biles, express, passenger, and freight cars, Ford, Benz, Mercedes, 
Opel, and I do not know what other makes besides, not count 
ing a multitude of swift, noisy motor-bicycles. Yesterday, from 
the windows of the Union s building, I saw six two-wheeled 
traps and a couple of carts ; by to-morrow the whole broad square 
will be blocked with vehicles. In the space of eight hours a 
portable barrack with windows, drains, and a floor was erected 
for the staff. Almost before my eyes there rises the publishing 
section which publishes a chronicle of the activities of the Union, 
issuing a thousand copies of this bulletin. An information 
department has been started, a photographic department is being 
instituted, and all these new activities proceed on the premises. 
After the War the Union will leave to the Exchequer and to 
society a rich and various inheritance. Here is a striking de 
monstration of the value of the work of the Union. Its first 
bulletins were published in comparatively small numbers, and 
distributed, in accordance with the directions of the present 
military censorship, only to persons holding administrative posts 
in the Army. But gradually a large demand arose for this 
monthly publication. Inquiries were made about it. The 
bulletin was consulted not only by general officers, but by others 
of various ranks down to company commanders. In con 
sequence, it was issued on a larger scale, but only, as may be 
readily understood, for the benefit of persons possessing an 
intimate connection with the Army. And could the Union have 
a better recommendation in the eyes of society than the con 
fidence of the Army ? 

It is interesting also to glance at the central point of the 


Union in its headquarters in Stolypin Street, where it occupies 
a building formerly that of the Women s Medical School. 

This place is like a Government office, but a Government 
office without arrogant, irascible, and uncivil bureaucrats, without 
useless and aimless wanderings from department to department 
whither one is waved by indolent hands, without fatiguing and 
humiliating hours of waiting in corridors and vestibules, with 
out crowds of insolent extortioners, without surly doorkeepers, 
without the ominous To-morrow in a week in a month." 
Everything, great or small, is done at the Union quickly, 
smoothly, accurately, altogether as upon a war footing. And 
the last inspection showed that even in the bustling activity of 
business, a most minute one might say a pharmaceutical 
accuracy may be attained. 

In this palace of industry there is at all times a silent popu 
lation. It passes up and down the broad staircase in two 
uninterrupted streams ; soldiers, students, doctors, women young 
and old, messengers, couriers. 

This mighty organisation has taken possession of wide circles 
in society and in the Army. On all sides its traces may be 
recognised. And so indeed it must be. Some day this awful 
War will cease, this War whose vastness and horror the most 
vivid human imagination can never picture. But even in the 
event of victory the victory which we long for, which we can 
and must, and therefore shall, have Russia, after enduring this 
ruinous period of war, will for a long time be like an ant-hill over 
which heavy waggon-wheels have passed. Then on all sides 
will be sought constructive forces enduring, permeating the 
whole of society, tenacious, intense then will be needed a 
sturdy faith in our own strength, so that we may not lose heart 
nor let our hands grow slack. And then it will be that social 
organisations like the Russian Union of Zemstvos will come 
to the true help of the Motherland, exhausted, ruined, and 
drenched with blood. 

We must believe in our country ! If we are touched only, so 
to speak, platonically, only as though by some scene at a theatre, 
only, as it were, perfunctorily, by the patience, the intelligence, 
the boundless endurance of the Russian soldier, the soldier who 


rejoices in his toil, who writes on the side of his transport waggon 
" Don t spare the shells ! " at any rate we cannot fail to be moved 
to the heart by the sensitive responsiveness of the better part of 
Russian society to the demands of the War. We cannot fail to 
rejoice in a Purishkevich revealing his true heart under the stress 
of war, appearing in the character of a true Russian man instead 
of as before in that of a true Russian buffoon. 

Institutions like the Russian Union of Zemstvos proclaim 
loudly our capacity for self-support. How sweet it is, thinking 
of these things, to let one s mind dwell upon the time when an 
educated Russia, temperate and contented so far as human 
nature can be shall construct for herself a network of railways, 
when out of the hidden depths of earth shall come forth her 
incalculable natural riches, when the waters of the Volga and the 
Dnieper shall flow through the now dry plains, and shall fertilise 
the sandy wastes, making the parched lands rich. Then shall 
our Motherland assume with calm dignity that place in the 
world which is hers by right of her spirit and of her might. 

And in her, O Lord, I believe. 



WHEN the Germans returned to the little village of Sunny 
Virkh for the second time, the Staff of the 39th Infantry 
Division installed themselves in the squire s house, whilst the 
regiment protecting the Landsturm Staff were billetted in the 
surrounding farm-houses, amid nestling cherry-orchards. And 
here was enacted the story which may be was very simple, and 
yet may be was deeply mysterious, about which all the neighbour 
hood of Sunny Virkh is whispering, and will continue to whisper 
very likely fifty years and longer. 

We must mention, first of all, that the German soldiers and 
officers this time lost all control over themselves. First, they 
beat with their rifle-butts the half-witted Stas, who goes about 
the farms and villages wearing a pink paper crown on his head, 
and broke three of his ribs, only because he had laughed child 
ishly at their helmets. Then they violated several girls, and 
even little girls. They bayoneted the mother of one of these 
unhappy children only because she tried to protect her little 
daughter. With their swords they decapitated a statue of the 
Madonna opposite the Catholic Church, and, finally, shot the 
priest, Vrublevsky, an austere and proud man, who, by virtue of 
his holy office, publicly invoked the thunder of Heaven on the 
heads of the ungodly. It was immediately after the shooting of 
the priest Vrublevsky that that succession of events took place 
which may be are deeply mysterious, and which terminated in a 
bloody catastrophe. This is the order in which the events 
followed one another in their strange concatenation and sequence. 

The very next day after Vrublevsky s death, Stas, in his 

22 9 Q 


pink paper crown, came to his nephew, Vladek, a seminarist in 
the advanced class. He picked his way through the marsh- 
mallows and rapped at his little window. 

" Vladek," he called to him mysteriously, c the Germans 
have wounded the Angel in the shoulder, the angel who offers 
incense to the Immaculate Virgin Gabriel. Vladek, come 
here," Stas beckoned to him through the window, Vladek ! 
and his eyes, which always resembled those of a frightened child, 
were now larger, darker than ever. Come and see ! The 
Angel s blood is flowing ! Ay, ay, ay ! Evil will come of it ! 
The All-Oldest Father will not forgive the Germans for this ! 
Ay, ay, ay ! He will never forgive them ! Ay, ay, ay ! It 
will go badly with the Germans ! 

Stas was blinking with terror, and almost pulled Vladek 
down the steps. He had that same expression children have 
when they are threatened with a scolding from their elders : he 
looked mysterious, meek, but at the same time serious. His 
fair curly hair, blown by the wind, fluttered on his shoulders, 
and the pink paper crown fluttered on his head. 

Vladek seemed infected by the same horror. 

They both rushed off to the Church, where, in the little 
square surrounded by poplars, stood the Immaculate Virgin 
on a black pediment, and opposite, on a similar black pediment, 
a white Angel piously incensing her. Stas promptly clambered 
up the tall quadrangular stone on which stood the Angel. 

There, do you see the blood on his shoulder ! There ! 
Just in that spot there is a gash as if he had been struck by a 
bullet or a sword on the shoulder. And there is blood ! said 
Stas wildly, showing it to Vladek and explaining with gestures. 

Vladek saw the blood with his own eyes. It was undoubtedly 
blood. And there was a gash just as if from some blow, and 
there was crimson blood on that white gash. Vladek s face 
flushed, and he looked feverishly excited. 

; Wait, wait ! he said in a great hurry. I ll run home. 
I ll get a bit of clean blotting-paper and wipe off that blood. 
I ll keep it in remembrance. Do you hear ? It s queer all the 
same. Exceedingly queer ! My hands have turned quite 
cold ! " 


Vladek ran back for the blotting-paper, and half-witted 
Stas remained all the while on his knees praying to God. 

" Have mercy on us, All-Oldest Father, do not destroy them 
quite, although they are Germans ! All-Oldest Father, it s 
not their fault, is it, that they are Germans? " so prayed Stas 
piously and kindly. 

Meanwhile Vladek had returned, and having carefully 
collected the blood on the Angel s shoulder on to his blotting- 
paper, went towards Stas. Suddenly his feverish excitement 
seemed to forsake him, and reason once more held sway. 

Affectionately clapping Stas on the shoulder, he said to 
him : 

I ll tell you what, probably it happened like this. You 
know that pigeons often perch on this statue, like they do on the 
church ? So, when the Germans shot my uncle, a bullet acci 
dentally glanced off the Angel s shoulder while a pigeon was 
perching there, and the bullet wounded the pigeon, and this 
blood which I have gathered up is the pigeon s. It s true, it is 
a strange coincidence, but that is it ! Otherwise, how would it 
be possible ? 

Vladek s expression was cold and stern as he said all this, 
and he seemed quite convinced of the truth of it ; but Stas would 
not believe him, and shed tears. 

I know the Angel is hurt," he whispered, his eyes filled 
with tears. The Germans have shed Angel s blood, and the 
All-Oldest Father will repay them." 

All that day Vladek went about the farms looking at every 
pigeon he could find, trying to discover the wounded one, but 
did not see it. He looked sad and serious. 

The next day Stas again came and rapped at his window. 

* Did you gather all the blood from the Angel s shoulder ? 
he asked with woeful mysteriousness. 

All of it. Why ? " 

Again there is blood on the Angel s shoulder, and in the 
very same place," Stas announced to him. 

Vladek once more wiped up the Angel s blood on that same 
bit of paper, and once more said : 

* Evidently that wounded pigeon came and sat on his shoulder 


again. Birds too are creatures of habits. Never mind, Stasik, 
don t be afraid ! 

" No, but I fear for the Germans," answered Stas. You ll 
see what ll happen ! 

That day too Vladek looked everywhere for the wounded 
pigeon, but could not find it. A few days later, Stas, with leaps 
and bounds, rushed to Vladek in a great fright, crying : 

" Vladek ! Vladek ! Vladek ! 

The latter dashed headlong out of his cottage, feeling a cold 
chill at his heart. 

"Well?" he asked. 

The Angel Gabriel has gone and taken the Holy Virgin 
with him ! " breathlessly articulated Stas. 

Vladek knew Stas never soiled his lips with a premeditated 
lie, nevertheless he exclaimed : 

" It s a lie, Stas ! " 

" God defend us ! Stas held up both his hands and 
again shed tears. Evil will come of it ! Ay, ay, ay ! Evil 
will come of it ! 

Vladek seized Stas by the arm and ran with him to the 
church. There, with his own eyes, he was persuaded that there 
was no Immaculate Virgin nor Angel incensing the Chaste 
One ; they were not there on their black quadrangular pedi 

Stas wept and intoned with clasped hands : 

* Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, have mercy on us, All-Oldest 
Father 1 " 

A blue sickly light shone in the depths of his mild childish 
eyes, and his tears dropped like glass beads on to the ground. 

That night Vladek could not sleep. Everything in his burn 
ing head seemed obscure and wrapt in fog. But at dawn, when 
the only cock not eaten by the Germans in Sunny Virkh chased 
the unearthly devils by his crowing to the depths of Hell, some 
thing like the light of the sun dawned in Vladek s mind. Having 
firmly made up his mind, he said aloud : 

The Germans took the decapitated Immaculate Virgin 
and the Angel incensing her from their pedestals, because they 
saw that the people were becoming disturbed on account of the 


decapitation and the blood on the Angel s shoulder, and so the 
Germans have hidden them away somewhere ! 

And instantly Vladek fell sound asleep. 

But the people became still more perturbed. They grew 
noisy, shouted, gathered together in groups. 

" If the Holy Virgin and the Angel have departed from the 
ungodly, we also will depart," was heard here, there, and every 

All the righteous departed from Sunny Virkh. The Ger 
mans were left there alone. Every farm-house was abandoned 
to the four winds and the Devil. Vladek alone took refuge with 
the old bee-man, Antos Chupra, about a verst and a half away. 
And Stas in his paper crown roamed about in the neighbour 
hood all day, spending the nights, as before, by the closed gates 
of the half-demolished church. And now occurred that fearful 
and bloody catastrophe which Stas had predicted some time 
ago. It happened unexpectedly and inevitably. 

Vladek, hearing during the night long-drawn, dull detona 
tions beyond the woods, rushed out of the cottage, together 
with old Antos. Then they saw twenty purple torches flare 
up beyond the woods, just in the place where Sunny Virkh stood. 
There were such deafening reports that one s teeth felt all on 
edge, such terrifying, unseen monsters whizzed overhead, with 
fire and smoke rising up to the very heavens. After that, nothing 
but silent crimson torches hovered in the sky, taking a long time 
to fade out. 

Then some people ran about the woods, whistling to each 
other in the early morning mist. Old Antos and Vladek stood 
there all the time, rooted to the spot, watching, listening, not 
noticing the cold. When it was light, Stas came to them with 
a blue light in the depths of his eyes, wearing his paper crown, 
and asked : 

" Did you see ? Hear ? Everything which I thought would 
happen did ! The All-Oldest Father did not spare them. One 
and all He gave them over to destruction ! Ay, ay, ay ! How 
angry the All-Oldest Father was ! 

: What happened ? Vladek enquired with chattering teeth. 

" Thirty of them came by night, they floated like the Bird- 


Moon in the sky. No one heard them, no one saw them. And 
each one threw three bombs at the Germans. Ay, ay, ay ! 

" Were they comrades or soldiers ? " whispered Vladek with 
chattering teeth. And a blue light began to shine also in his 

Stas went down on his knees and firmly grasped both Vladek s 

I don t know. But they ! Ay, ay, ay ! They were in 
rags, and all torn to shreds. The All-Oldest Father scolded 
in a voice of thunder ! Ay, ay, ay ! How angry He was ! 

They deserved it ! cried Vladek of a sudden in a spent 
voice, and, falling on his knees, embraced Stas, while both of 
them wept bitterly. Antos heaved deep sighs, shaking his old 
trembling head. 

As they both wept they whispered one to another. Said 
Stas : 

* He led them. I saw him myself. It was he ! The 
Angel of the incense ! I knew him at once. He only made 
himself look like an officer. He was always in front he was ! 
The Angel ? " asked Vladek, sighing. 
Yes. And he was wounded too in the right shoulder. 
His eyes were like those of broken-hearted girls. And his face 
was pale as pale." 

The Angel of the incense ? " exclaimed Vladek sorrowfully. 

Tears fell from Stas s eyes. 

Yes, he ! I went up to him and asked, What is thy 
name ? 

" Well ? " impatiently breathed Vladek. 

Stas said : " And he answered, * I am Gabriel ! " 



THE brothers Meichik had worked for many years as carpenters 
in the village. The elder, Josel, was a God-fearing Jew 
though he feared his fat wife Rosa even more and a fairly good 
carpenter ; but Sender, the younger, was much more than a 
carpenter : he could work a lathe, and paint, and do cabinet- 
making. A master of all trades" he was called by every one. 
Besides all this, he could play the fiddle ; and not a festival or 
wedding, either of Jews or Catholics, could take place in the 
village without the aid of Sender s riddle. 

Sender did fine work very skilfully, and was often summoned 
even to The Great House if something there had to be mended 
or a foreign pattern copied. He could paint shop signs, colour 
ceilings, and mend umbrellas, and he was a very quick worker. 
He was a cheerful healthy Jew a contrast to his brother, who 
was sickly and always ailing and so handsome that during his 
service in the army he was always put in the front rank on parade. 
Josel was a meagre little man with a fair beard. Rosa was a 
stout woman, whose eyebrows looked as if they had been drawn 
with charcoal ; she always carried about with her a smell of 
herring and beer, and she kept her husband in strict order. She 
was full of health and strength and energy, in spite of the eight 
curly-headed black-eyed children who ran or crept about the 
little house and filled it with noise. 

Rosa got on well enough with Sender, and was even well- 
disposed towards him until he married. But his marriage was 
a double blow to her : first, because a married brother in the 
house and a second manager indoors well, that is a less pleasant 



state of things ; and also Rosa disapproved of the wife whom he 
chose as unsuitable. She reconciled herself to his choice for 
one reason only, that the prosperity of the brothers depended on 
Sender, Josel being helpless without him. As a practical woman, 
Rosa realised that if Sender left them their customers would 
go too. By their agreement, the brothers divided their profits 
into three shares, two of which went to Josel, because the house 
and the tools had been bought out of Rosa s dowry. But most 
of the work was done by Sender, and every one knew as well 
as Rosa that Josel without Sender was no better than a hand 
without fingers. 

Accordingly, he might have married any girl he wanted in 
the village. Though his clever handsome head and pair of skilful 
hands constituted his sole capital, yet a proposal from him could 
meet no refusal. 

The Rabbi wished him for a son-in-law. But what should 
he leave our house for ? Of that I say nothing ; but, you 
know, Haim Liebersohn, no less " he kept the inn " sent 
the match-maker to Sender to make proposals . . . and his 
daughter Rivochka has a dowry of seven hundred, seven hundred 
roubles, not counting her clothes and feather-beds and household 
stuff ! A bride that might satisfy a prince ! And what does 
Sender do ? Why, he scraped acquaintance in the town with a 
beggar, a sewing-girl, and could think of nothing better than 
to marry her." 

Such were the complaints that Rosa poured out to the neigh 
bours, slapping her thighs in her wrath. " She came to our 
house with the shift she stood in, and she brought bad luck with 
her. If at least she had been pretty ! But she s a starving cat, 
with eyes like two saucers of preserved ginger. And to think 
that I might have had Rivochka Liebersohn for a sister-in-law, 
as pretty as a real lady, a dainty bit, and a dowry of seven hundred! 
But Sender is blind and deaf to everything but his Deborah : 
she has bewitched him somehow. It is a perfect scandal ! And 
she does not dress like a proper Jewess, either : would you believe 
it ? She doesn t wear a wig, but keeps her own hair long just 
like any Gentile." 

Rosa s gossips cried out and shook their heads in horror ; 


but, none the less, Rosa did not go further than talking the affair 
over with her acquaintance. She did not lay a finger on Deborah, 
for she did not forget that when Sender w r as angry he could 
smash an anvil or bend copper coins. So Sender and his eighteen- 
year-old Deborah were made man and wife, and they were 
happy, as man and wife know how to be among the Jews. 

She worked too, getting odd jobs of sewing to do at home, 
and going out to work at houses of the gentry in summer. At 
other times she sang as she cleaned out their room or cooked his 
meals for Sender, without heeding Rosa when she grumbled 
and pushed away from the fire her sister-in-law s saucepans and 
kettles. And, when Sender s work was done and the loud voices 
of Rosa and her eight brats were hushed in the house, the two 
sat together by the window, and he played to her on his fiddle 
tender and plaintive tunes, and said all the foolish things that are 
old and ever new for instance, that her eyes were brighter than 
the stars in the sky. 

At the beginning of the second year Deborah gave birth to 
a son, little Gershele, and Sender was quite frantic with joy. He 
took as much care of wife and child as if they were made of 
porcelain. He would not allow her to work any more or take 
orders ; her business was to nurse the baby. 

When his work was done they stood for hours over the child s 
cradle. Instead of looking at the stars they made plans for 
their son s future. He was not to be a mere carpenter : he 
would get learning and go through college, and become a doctor 
or a lawyer " As famous as that lawyer, you remember, who 
came from Kiev to the town, and saved poor uncle that time 
from penal servitude ! And people will kiss his hands, just as 
aunt kissed that lawyer s hands ! Deborah s eyes flashed as 
she planned the future ; and Sender took his fiddle again, but 
this time he did not play the sad tunes that brought a mist of 
tears over Deborah s eyes : he played merry dance-music to 
make little Gershele laugh and show his little toothless gums. 


Into this peaceful and quiet life the news of the War dropped 
like thunder from a clear sky, and Sender was taken as a reservist. 


Those who have waited for the return of a loved one from 
war will understand what Deborah s life was like during these 
two years. 

But even those who have lived from one telegram to the 
next should remember that for Sender Meichik telegrams were 
a luxury beyond his reach, that letters took more than three 
months to come, and that newspapers were rarely seen in the 

All at once Deborah s sunny days had turned dark as the 
grave. Life in Josel s house became hard. For Rosa now 
revenged herself for all the past in her dealings with The 
Princess " ; and she did so with all the more zeal, because Sender s 
departure had made things difficult for her and her husband, 
and everything had become dearer owing to the War. Husband 
and wife moaned and groaned and complained all day long. 
Rosa more than once reproached Deborah, saying that but for 
her they could have taken in a lodger. These constant re 
proaches and unkind complaints were so painful to Deborah 
that she would have gone away ; but she felt it too terrible to 
leave that house, which had been dear and familiar, which had 
been the scene of every joy and emotion of their life together. 
Here hung his fiddle, and the photograph taken in the town 
before he went away of him wearing his uniform, and looking 
so handsome and brave that, if he had epaulets, you would have 
taken him for a colonel ! 

Deborah gave up to Rosa the weekly trifle she got as a re 
servist s wife, and began again to take in work in order to support 
herself and her son. 

Her whole life was one continuous expectation, one hope, 
one agonising prayer. 

Her eyes were no longer like stars : they were inflamed by 
constant weeping and by sitting up late over her sewing. She 
grew thin and pale, and said to herself : 

* My Sender will not know me ; I have grown so plain. 
And he won t know you, my princely little son, my treasure, 
because you have grown so big and wise." 

The " princely little son " grew splendidly. Tenderly cared 
for, kept nice and clean, unlike Rosa s swarm of ragged children, 


he was an additional object for Rosa s envy and Rosa s cruel 
tongue. His mother hardly ever left him ; she liked to keep 
him in her arms, and transferred to him all her tenderness for 
him who was far away. 

Gershele could speak nicely already. The first word his 
mother taught him was " Dadda," and all their endless conversa 
tions turned on what was to happen when Dadda came home. 
Gershele pictured that happy time as a kind of perpetual re 
joicing : Dadda would bring back presents, Dadda would play 
the fiddle, Dadda would give him rides on his knee, Dadda 
would toss him right up to the sky. 

At last Deborah s prayer was heard. 

A letter came : he had been wounded, but was now re 

Glory to Almighty God for looking down on the sorrow of 
a poor Jewish woman ! 

Then came a telegram fixing the day of his return. 

Of Deborah s feelings it is needless to speak ; but all the 
rest of the household breathed more freely. 

The return of Sender meant the end of want and overwork ; 
once more it would be possible to put something by, instead of 
stripping the house barer and barer. The boys looked forward 
to tales of the War and the girls to presents ; even Rosa ceased 
to grumble, and cheerfully prepared to meet her brother-in-law 
when he came back wearing his two medals. 

The day before he came back they borrowed a horse of a 
neighbour and drove off to the town Deborah, little Gershele, 
and Josel driving. All the way Deborah was like a mad 

She laughed and cried alternately ; she pressed her little 
boy to her heart and sang to him : * Dadda s coming, Dadda s 
coming." Or she would make Josel stop : 

; Josel, let me get out and walk ; I believe I should get there 

Often she sprang out of the cart and ran along the road, 
breathing into her lungs the pungent smell of the fading leaves, 
and exposing her face in a kind of ecstasy to the fresh fragrant 
breeze and the autumn sun, which turned the air to gold. 


Then she grew tired, went back to the cart, and sat there 
quietly, pressing her hand to her heart and repeating : 

" Oh, faster, faster ! " 

They spent the night in an inn kept by an acquaintance of 
theirs, and Deborah, generally silent, surprised every one by 
talking so much : she repeated Sender s letters, and told them 
how anxious the child was to see his father, and made plans for 
the future. 

She did not close an eye all night ; and though the train 
was not due till ten in the morning, she was on the platform by 
six, walking feverishly up and down, and gazing at the telegraph- 
posts and the rails vanishing in the blue distance. Sometimes, 
as if her strength had suddenly left her, she stood still, put her 
hand over her eyes, and smiled with a kind of maudlin bliss. 

The train was an hour late. When the smoke from the 
engine came in sight, she threw the child into Josel s arms and 
rushed to meet the train. She hurried along, looking into all 
the windows, even of first- and second-class carriages, forgetting 
that he could not be there. 

Suddenly, at one of the windows, she saw Sender s face. 
She cried out, ran to the carriage, clutched at the door handle, 
and nearly fell under the wheels. He had seen her, and was 
making signs to her. 

* How wasted he is, mere skin and bone ! How sunk his 
eyes are ! So she thought in her love and distress. She tried 
to squeeze into the carriage, but the crowd of people coming out 
hindered her. A number of soldiers were getting out, some on 
crutches and bandaged. Why does he not hurry and run to 
meet her ? 

But what does this mean ? She saw his head at the door. 

His face was pale and sallow and worn, that dear precious 

But he is not walking ! Two men are carrying him on a 

* Sender ! She darted towards him. 

* Deborah, I have no arms to put round you " she heard 
the familiar voice, but it sounded so worn and weary. 

A shapeless thing lay before her. The flapping sleeves of 


the coat showed where the arms had been ; both legs had been 
cut off above the knee, and the helpless stumps lay there on the 

Only a mere trunk was left ; but the eyes in the face were 
living, and they burned with suffering, and they gazed, gazed 
intensely, at her. 

She threw herself on her knees before him, eagerly embraced 
the poor shapeless thing, and never stirred. 

" Is that my Dadda ? asked Gershele, clinging in fear to 
Josel : where are his arms and legs ? 

" Clasp your father, clasp him tight, little son ! sobbed 
out Deborah. 

But the child was frightened and tried to hide, while Josel 
cried out in his amazement, smacking his lips and beating his 

What a terrible misfortune ! he cried ; why did you 
not tell us in your letter ? 

You would hear it quick enough without that," said the 
mutilated man in a sullen voice, and he cast a peculiar glance at 

But what are we to do now ? " lamented Josel. 
If I had my arms I would make a little cart to go about 
in ; you must make it for me now, won t you ? " asked Sender 
with an attempt at a jest, and again he glanced at his wife with 
a look that was new to her, half afraid and half suspicious. 

But Josel could only scratch his head and groan. 

Not a groan came from Deborah. When she tore herself 
from her husband, her face was calm and steady, almost happy. 
Thank God, you are alive ! " she said to her husband, and 
his tired eyes suddenly lit up with a flash of hope. 

With some trouble they managed to bring him home. 

When Rosa saw him she wailed over him just as if he were 
a dead man. But Deborah, on the pretext that he needed 
rest, put him to bed in their room, locked the door, and made 
Gershele sit on the bed. The child was no longer frightened : 
he played with his father s medals, and asked with the cruelty 
of his age : 

" Will you play me a tune on the fiddle ? 



Sender could only look helplessly at his wife, but her eyes 
answered him with a smile, the smile of a tender mother, and she 
repeated : 

" I thank God for bringing you back to me." 

About a month passed thus. By degrees all became accus 
tomed to the situation ; only Deborah had not one child now 
but two to attend to. She had to work for two ; but to her this 
seemed a trifle, compared to what might have been if she had 
never seen him again in life. 

Rosa and Josel were in despair, and had no scruples in letting 
this be seen. At last, after long confabulations and whisperings 
in corners, Rosa came to them and asked them to give up their 


We really can t feed you, sister-in-law ; we have eight 
hungry mouths ourselves to fill." 

But surely I don t ask you to feed us. I can work." 
Oh yes ! you may earn the price of a herring by making 
a couple of shirts for a baby," answered Rosa. " Take my 
advice, Deborah : your best plan would be to get Sender into 
an infirmary. I have asked already. . . ." 

Don t waste your words, Rosa," said Deborah quietly ; 
the room shall be at your disposal ; but, while I live, my 
husband shall never go to an infirmary." 

Rosa, a little ashamed, tried to make some reply ; but 
Deborah signed to her to stop. Then she looked at Sender 
where he lay with eyes shut, and said with authority : 

Go, sister-in-law ; don t disturb him. I shall do what 
is necessary." 

When the door shut behind Rosa, Deborah went to her 
husband s side. He still lay with his eyes shut ; but his lips 
were working, and two large tears, a man s tears, rolled from 
under his tight eyelids. 

Deborah leant over him and kissed him. 
Better if I had been killed," he said ; I am only a stone 
round your neck." 

You are my king and my master," said Deborah ; * and 
I am your faithful servant to the hour of my death." 


Then she rose and went out. Three hours later she came 
back with a borrowed waggon and a boy. Half an hour more 
passed, and a small procession took its way from the little white 
house. The waggon carried their household goods, hastily 
packed ; the boy kept the horse going. 

Behind the waggon walked Deborah. On one arm she held 
her child ; with the other she pushed the little cart in which 
Sender lay. 

They turned into the next street and disappeared in the 
mist of a rainy autumn day. 


Translated by J. D. DUFF, M.A. 







: ^ 

u 5 


* z 

a < 



O ! MIGHTY Russia, thou that didst withstand 
The furious onslaught of the Tartar horde, 
Once more does Freedom gird thee with her sword 
To keep inviolate thy holy land. 

Strong bulwark thine the immemorial fate 
To shield the lamp of progress in the West 
The tyrant s spear is turned against thy breast., 
Once more the savage foe is at thy gate. 

Thy vampire neighbour, battened on thy might, 
Joins hands with thine hereditary foes 
The modern pagan with the Crescent goes, 
A renegade, against the Cross to fight. 

Rise in thy wrath, if thou wouldst still be free ! 
Arise and smite for all thou holdest dear ! 
A fiercer far than Attila is here, 
Than Genghis or the Man of Destiny. 

Sound forth the trumpet throughout all the land ; 
O er steppe and desert let the echo roll 
From Caspia to the margin of the Pole, 
From Yenisei to farthest Samarkand ! 

1 Inserted by the kind permission of The Times newspaper. 



Who freely give themselves for thy dear sake 
For country, God, and Tsar on Poland s plain, 
Not vainly shall they lie, and not in vain 
Samsonov falls beside th Masurian lake. 

O ! Holy Russia we who love thy song, 
Thy people, and the magic of thy land 
Endure until we reach thy side and stand 
At one with thee endure, hold fast, be strong ! 


F.B.A., Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence in the University of 
Oxford ; Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petrograd. 

MY LORD, LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN There are few more 
important events in the history of the world than the initiation 
of an understanding between Great Britain and Russia in 1907. 
The new policy had to steer a difficult course in those early days, 
and it is only step by step that the significance of the new Entente 
was realised and appreciated. Quite recently the seal has been 
set to this development in the weighty and happily worded 
declaration made by the present Prime Minister to the represen 
tatives of the Russian legislative Assemblies. The days of 
misunderstanding are happily over," he said, * and whether 
it be in Turkey or in Persia, or wherever British and Russian 
interests come into contact with one another, we have arrived at 
a common policy, which we are both determined loyally and in 
concert to pursue." 

The necessity of some such arrangement was clearly indicated 
long ago it became inevitable at the moment when the " honest 
brokers" of Berlin squeezed both rival parties the successors of 
Beaconsfield and the successors of Ignatev, out of Constantinople, 
and built up the plan of the new Berlin caliphate to borrow 
M. Sazonov s telling expression. Prince Hatzfeld and Baron 
Marschall von Bieberstein may in a sense claim the honour of 
having been the patrons of the Anglo-Russian Alliance. They 
traded all too well on the traditional estrangement between Great 
Britain and Russia, and succeeded in producing a combination 

1 A lecture delivered to the School of Slavonic Studies, King s College, London, on 
the yth of June 1916 ; Lord Sanderson was in the chair. 



equally dangerous to both. The advance towards Baghdad 
opened the eyes even of the blind as to the real menace to India, 
and one may perhaps say that the tertius gaudens, the third profit- 
taking party of this historical comedy, actually forced much 
against his will a compromise between the former rivals. 

However this may be, it is time that people in Russia and in 
England should study the national background of all these 
diplomatic moves. It is clear that the solidity and the further 
development of the Alliance which forms the corner-stonej*of 
the present international situation will mainly depend on the 
fundamental tendencies of the countries from which generals 
and diplomats derive their mission and their strength. Are the 
tracks followed by Great Britain and by Russia convergent or 
divergent ? Is the task set to Russia by her history of such a 
kind as to fit in with the course adopted by Great Britain ? This 
is the problem which I should like to survey very briefly to-day, 
not in its innumerable details, but in the light of what seem to 
me to be guiding considerations. I need hardly say that I have 
no official mandate in the matter, but opinions of unofficial 
members of a nation may also be entitled to consideration. 

Among the guarded statements of responsible British states 
men as to the objects pursued by Great Britain s policy in 
the war, nothing has been more significant than the insistence 
on the rights of small nationalities. Both the Premier and Sir 
Edward Grey have repeatedly pointed not only to the restora 
tion of Belgium and of Serbia as necessary conditions of a 
peace settlement, but to a wide recognition of the general prin 
ciple itself, though they have abstained from concrete proposals 
in these respects, evidently because it would be premature to 
divide the spoils before the victim has been brought down. 
It is not difficult to guess, however, in what direction the claims 
of small nationalities might be asserted and adjusted in connection 
with this war. The idea of the liberation of small nationalities 
has been expounded from this very platform of King s College, 
by a great authority, Professor Massarik, as the appropriate 
rallying cry on the side of the Entente Powers. It has been 
shown what practical consequences ought to be drawn from it 
in the shape of the emancipation of the Slavonic nations yoked 


to the car of the Teuton by means of the Austro-Hungarian 
Monarchy. This is a noble programme, worthy of ideal aspira 
tions and of tremendous sacrifices. What share is to be assigned 
to Russia in the carrying out of such a programme ? Is it com 
patible with the historical policy of that Empire ? 

A glance at the modern history of Russia will show that 
no Power in Europe has done more for the emancipation of 
neighbouring nationalities and for the formation of small states. 
It is hardly necessary to recall the part taken by Russia in the 
liberation of Greece from the Ottoman yoke. In spite of the 
fact that the popular rising of the Hellenic nation against the 
* legitimate authority of the Porte ran counter to the prin 
ciples of the Holy Alliance upheld by Emperor Nicolas I., the 
sympathy for the cause of Orthodox Christians suffering from 
Mahommedan oppression was powerful enough to make the 
autocrat join the Western Powers : the Russian fleet had an 
equal share with the English and the French in the battle of 
Navarino, the campaigns of the Russian army in 1828 and 
1829 broke the back of Turkish resistance and decided the fate 
of Greece. Even more momentous was the influence of the 
Empire in shaping Rumanian independence. It was during 
the occupation of the Danubian principalities by Russian troops 
from 1829 to 1834, and under the guidance of a remarkable 
Russian statesman, Count Kiselev, that the internal administration 
of Moldavia and Wallachia was formed in accordance with a so- 
called " organic statute." The reassertion by Russia of her claim 
to a strip of Bessarabia wrested from her after the Crimean War 
was undoubtedly an egregious blunder, but this lapse of policy 
can hardly outweigh the protection extended to the Rumanian 
nationality for centuries, and the fact that but for the victories 
of Rumyantsov, Suvorov, and Kutusov, Rumania would not 
have existed at all. The case of Bulgaria is fresh before our 
minds. The record of Shipka and Plevna will not be obliter 
ated from history because the Bulgarians have chosen to take 
sides against their liberators in the hour of supreme danger. 
Nor can it be forgotten that if Stoletov and Radetzky taught the 
Bulgarians to fight, the provisional government of Prince Cher- 
kassky framed the first constitution for the country. All these 


are elementary facts, and I only mention them because some of 
the parties concerned have been anxious to turn away from these 

It has been rather the fashion to depreciate all these 
services on the ground that Russia was seeking selfish aims while 
acting ostensibly as the champion of oppressed nations. This is 
a damaging allegation, but it does not require much acumen to 
perceive that the standard of pure disinterestedness would be 
difficult to apply to any Power in such matters. Would it be so 
easy to make out in the case of Great Britain how far her policy 
as regards small nations has been dictated by chivalrous motives 
and how far by properly understood interests ? Of course, 
there are cases when pretences at emancipation are set up 
in mere hypocrisy just remember the pompous allocution of 
King Ferdinand to the Kaiser : Omnes Orientis populi te salutant 
redemptlonem ferentem oppresses, prosperitatem^ atque salutem.^ 
There has been no charge of the kind in the case of Russia. 
The very people who try to minimise Russian support when 
it has done its work give the lie to their allegations by the use 
they made of Russian idealism so long as there was anything to 
be gained by Russian sacrifices. 

Besides, the power of Russia, or of any country in similar 
circumstances, cannot be regarded as a kind of force of nature 
to be exploited by skilful management for one or the other end 
foreign to its own aims, as a waterfall may be utilised for the 
purpose of moving a mill or of producing an electric current. 
The driving force of a great nation is composed not of particles 
of unconscious matter, but of living and suffering individuals : 
if they have to be sacrificed by the million for a great cause, 
the shedding of their blood, the crushing of their lives demands 
justification from the point of view of the body corporate, and 
no government has a right to squander blood and treasure 
lightly without definite and compelling national aims. There 
have undoubtedly been cases in our history when the rulers 
of the Empire have indulged in more or less chivalrous crusades 
for the benefit of foreign countries without a clear view as to 

1 All the nations of the East salute thee, as thou bringest to the oppressed deliverance, 
prosperity, and safety. 


costs and consequences. The Seven Years War brought glory 
to the Russian arms, but the victory of Kunersdorf was of greater 
value to Austria than to Russia, and that is why the whole 
adventure was liquidated with a stroke of the pen by Empress 
Elizabeth s successor, Peter III., an ardent admirer of Frederick 
II. Why was the blood of Russian soldiers shed without stint 
in Suvorov s brilliant campaigns in Italy and Switzerland if 
the results were to be discarded by Emperor Paul, who had 
put his best troops at the service of the inept War Council 
of Vienna ? Were not Nicolas I. s salvage operations in 
favour of Austria in 1849 sn wn to have been foolish and 
mischievous by the conduct of that Power during the crisis of 
the Crimean War ? The quelling of the Hungarian rising 
not only cost Russia thousands of soldiers, but turned the 
Magyars into irreconcilable enemies of Russia. These and 
similar experiences impress upon responsible statesmen the duty 
of weighing carefully the balance of loss and gain before embark 
ing on wide-going and costly enterprises. This does not mean 
that such enterprises have to be eschewed in all cases. On the 
contrary, carefully considered plans have a chance of standing 
the test of temporary rebuffs and disappointments. 

As a matter of fact, feelings and interests seem to be clearly 
allied in the present instance, provided all the parties con 
cerned realise to what extent their aspirations demand combined 
action, not only at the present moment but in the future. To 
begin with, it is evident that the only hope of a lasting peace lies 
in the weakening of aggressive Prussianised Germany, through 
the destruction of its power over Central Europe. The ruthless 
methods of warfare introduced by the apostles of Kultur, their 
utter contempt for international law and humanity have called 
forth indignation and protests even in Neutral States. The 
partners of the Entente know that, unless the sword of aggression 
is broken, there will never be a guarantee of peaceful develop 
ment in the world. At the same time, as Sir E. Grey has 
emphatically stated, not one of the enemies of Germany plans 
the conquest of any population of German stock ; no one in 
Great Britain, France, Russia or Italy wants to undertake the 
hateful and hopeless task of depriving Germans of their national 


independence and of submitting them to foreign rule. For the 
powers of the Entente the era of " partitions " has passed once for 
all, and the inanity of experiments with a conquered population 
has been sufficiently demonstrated by Germany s failure in 
Alsace-Lorraine. There is, however, a simple way of bringing 
the lawless Power to reason without infringing any of its national 
claims : the unwilling vassals of Germany must be liberated from 
their yoke, and their emancipation will indirectly ensure the 
world against future attempts of any Kaiser to snatch the sceptre 
of Europe. It is impossible to say how far such a result is attain 
able under present conditions, and how much will be actually 
achieved by the efforts of the leading states of Western and of 
Eastern Europe. It is not our business to speculate as to the 
strategic course and outcome of the war. But the fact of choosing 
a definite aim for our efforts is of first-rate importance in itself. 
It is only by concerted and energetic action in a definite direction 
that we can prevail in the struggle. He who wants to hit must 
take aim ! 

The course has been outlined by the Germans themselves : 
the famous Drang nach Osten has reached the stage of a 
feverish propaganda in favour of the creation of supposed 
buffer " states in the disputed regions. Writers like Rohrbach, 
Ostwald, Schiemann preach the dismemberment of Russia, the 
driving back of that Power into the boundaries of sixteenth- 
century Muscovy, the inauguration of all sorts of German pro 
tectorates in the Ukraina, in Poland, in Lithuania, in the Baltic 
provinces, in Finland. Nothing could be clearer than the ardent 
desire of the Teutons to call into being a circle of satellites gravi 
tating towards the Central Sun of Berlin, and to push the bound 
aries of these satellites as far as possible towards the East. The 
plan is well in keeping with the world-wide aspirations of the 
Teutonic race. It has only one drawback, which may be 
expressed in the terms of a German proverb : Es 1st dafur 
gesorgt das die Baume ntcht in den Hlmmel wachsen (" Care 
has been taken that trees should not grow into the sky "). A 
homely English saying would also be appropriate, One must 
not bite off more than one can chew." Indeed, it is hardly 
conceivable that the great Empires of Europe France, Great 


Britain, and Russia should crumble away at the same time at 
the blast of the Kaiser s trumpet, and it is fortunately too late 
for the War Lord to assail his intended victims in turn. 

One salutary effect the outburst of Germanic megalomania 
has undoubtedly produced it has revealed the plans of conquest 
directed against each of the Allies and disclosed the assailable 
points of our respective situations. In the case of the Slavonic 
East and of Russia the vulnerable point is the disorganised state 
of the vast intermediate region stretching from the marshes of 
the Pripet to the Vistula and the plains of Hungary, and project 
ing far into the West in the Bohemian salient, the territory to 
which the literary efforts of publications like Rohrbach s Deutsche 
Potitik or the Munich Osteuropaischt Zukunft are devoted. This 
region, consisting of Lithuania, Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, the 
Serbian lands, Rumania and Bulgaria, comprises approximately 
one hundred millions of inhabitants, and is undoubtedly in a state 
of transformation, the results of which are bound to be of the 
greatest moment not only for the neighbouring Empires, but for 
the whole of Europe. It would be out of the question for me to 
treat of the complex problems involved in the fermentation of 
this seething mass of growing and decaying political bodies. 
But the watchword of the rights of small nationalities has been 
given out by leaders of the Entente, and it is the one appro 
priate watchword, provided the emancipated nationalities are not 
only launched into political existence, but brought into line and 
organised in connection with the league which is righting on their 
behalf. The mere disintegration of Austria will not serve the 
purpose ; we know from the example of the disintegration of 
Turkey what prospects of racial hatred, traditional jealousies, 
and petty Machiavellism can be provided by the creation of a 
number of small states with overlapping claims, eager to out 
manoeuvre each other and falling an easy prey to adventurers 
for whom politics are an exciting variety of gambling. Great 
Powers have been made to look very foolish as a result of the 
snares and surprises of Balkan rulers, and it is not desirable to 
lay the cloth for a game of chance and skill of the same kind in 
Poland or in Serbia. Now, in any scheme of Eastern European 
reconstruction on the lines of the Entente Russia must play a 


leading part. The Germans would like to turn her into an exile, 
spending her strength in vain attempts to re-enter the forbidden 
ground. For this very reason, to those who want Slavonic races 
to be ensured against Germanic and Austrian domination, Russia 
must be the pivot of a confederacy of national states. She has 
tried to assume that part in the past in a series of disconnected 
efforts, and to a great extent in opposition to Western Europe. 
She will have to assume the task in the future as a member of 
the Entente, and in constant agreement with the Western Powers. 
It is a glorious and difficult task, involving not only the satis 
faction of Imperial ambitions, but, primarily, the fulfilment of 
specific and onerous responsibilities. 

The concrete aspects of the relations between the Russian 
Empire and the neighbouring states will naturally vary according 
to historical and geographical conditions. The ties between 
Russia and her kinsmen ought in any case to be essentially ties 
of common defence, not of domination and subjection. The 
Great Serbia which is striving to rise as Phoenix from the ashes 
of the small Serbia of old will certainly continue in the same 
position of independence for which Russia has repeatedly drawn 
the sword in the past, and which induced the protecting Power 
to wage war against the Central European coalition at a time 
when the support of England was doubtful and the danger in 
curred incalculably great. The whole history of the Serbian 
kingdom, with the brief exception of the Austrophil rule intro 
duced by Milan Obrenovich, and continued by his ill-fated 
son, gives promise of a faithful adherence to traditional ideals 
and to the common cause of the Slavs. 

A much more difficult problem arises in regard to the 
destiny of Poland, not only because mutual aggression has 
envenomed the relations between the Poles and the Russians, 
but because, through the swaying fortunes of conquest and 
reconquest, the two nationalities have become inextricably 
intertwined in the vast borderland territories of White Russia, 
Galicia, and Lithuania. The Gordian knot has to be cut, 
however : the reconstitution of Poland s autonomous existence 
has been promised in the face of the world by the Grand 
Duke, commander of the Russian Army, and the promise holds 


good in spite of common reverses and of divided counsels among 
the Poles. From the Russian point of view, the desirable out 
come of the struggle ought to be the creation of an autonomous 
Polish state, united with the Russian Empire by dynastic, military, 
and diplomatic ties, but independent in the management of its 
home affairs. It may be hoped that a good many Poles may 
see their way to accept such an outcome as a working compromise, 
and this for very plain reasons. It is clear that in the world 
contest of the immense organised forces of Germany and Russia 
a completely independent and comparatively weak Poland could 
not hold its own : the Poles are destined to lead the vanguard 
of the Slavs against the Teutons, but a vanguard has no meaning 
unless it is supported by a powerful main body in its rear, and this 
main body is Russia. These are the considerations on which future 
relations between Russia and Poland should be based. 

But, of course, the Imperialism of Russia can prove a bene 
ficial force only on the condition that it should entirely renounce 
the oppressive methods of centralistic policy which have so often 
called forth suspicion, dread, and resentment. In the treatment 
of that very Polish problem most unfortunate and preposterous 
blunders have occurred. It would be impossible to reconcile 
the generous and statesmanlike manifesto of the Grand Duke, 
the formation of Polish regiments on the Russian side, the 
organisation of civic relief committees, etc., with the continuance 
of petty bureaucratic tutelage, with the maintenance of humiliat 
ing exceptional laws, with the arbitrary methods of governors 
and subordinate officials. The clumsy way in which the 
sympathies of the Galician population were alienated by reli 
gious and nationalistic experiments passes belief. The explana 
tion of these shortcomings is fortunately not to be sought in a 
hypocritical policy, bent on annulling in detail pledges given 
in general terms, but rather in survivals of a defeated tradition, 
in the inertia of customary habits. One might, perhaps, recall 
to mind Galilei s exclamation at his trial, And yet it moves 
(Ma pur si, muove). The words are an appropriate descrip 
tion of Russia s political evolution. Let us note that, though 
N. Maklakov and Scheglovitov have remained blind, some 
of their nearest neighbours, for instance, Purishkevich and 


A. Bobrinsky, have been moved to salute the Poles in the days 
of their great misfortune, while A. Guchkov, one of the best 
exponents of Russian national ideals, a man who in 1905 did 
not scruple to split the union of the Zemstvos on that very 
topic of Polish autonomy, has definitely renounced the narrow 
Muscovite point of view and declared in favour of a reconciliation 
which can only be effected on the basis of an autonomous Poland. 
The point which naturally excites the most widespread dis 
content and the most uncompromising condemnation abroad is 
the treatment meted out to Russian subjects of the Jewish race and 
religion. The miseries of the pale, the injustice of educational 
and civil restrictions have been often described, and admit of 
no excuse. They are partly the outcome of a backward legis 
lation, and partly symptoms of a morbid state of popular 
feeling as regards men of an alien race. They have undoubtedly 
intensified all the shady sides of the Jewish character, and have 
produced in the congested districts of the pale an unhealthy 
atmosphere of panic and disaffection. The one cure against 
this social disease is fresh air, a political sanitation which will 
take some time to produce its effect : it would be impossible 
to dispel at one stroke the consequences of centuries of folly 
and oppression. Yet even in this darkest corner things are moving 
forward. The pale has crumbled away by the force of military 
events, and I do not think even the most rabid reactionaries 
dream of its reconstruction on the old lines. The abolition of 
educational disabilities has not only been planned by the authori 
ties, but a transitional stage designed to carry this reform into 
practice is being initiated in the shape of facilities for the opening 
of private schools. A juridical institute in Moscow and a technical 
institute in Ekaterinoslav are the first establishments started on 
these lines. Again, as regards civil disabilities, it is significant 
that a conservative and powerful class the industrial and com 
mercial leaders of Central Russia has declared emphatically 
against the project of a law intended to restrict the number of 
Jewish employees of joint-stock companies ; they did so on the 
ground that Jewish agents were indispensable for obtaining com 
mercial intelligence and credit. This view seems to contain the 
germ of a most important development. If something practical 


is to be the outcome of the universal desire to start active economic 
intercourse between Russia and England, for instance, the services 
of numerous and active middlemen will be required, and there 
can be no doubt that Jews are particularly fitted for the task : 
they could render invaluable assistance in ascertaining the needs 
and peculiar tastes of Russian customers and in offering English 
goods in the proper place. They would have to be carefully 
led and organised, but then sellers and buyers cannot expect 
to have all the benefits of trade cut out for them without corre 
sponding efforts on their own part. I should not be surprised 
if the first stage of Jewish emancipation should turn out to be 
connected with commercial development. I do not wish to 
suggest that this most complicated and thorny business of Jewish 
regeneration is likely to be achieved smoothly and rapidly : 
there is sure to be a great deal of trouble arising from it. But 
there can be no mistake either about the road or the ultimate 
result. This obstacle to an understanding between Russia and 
the civilised West is not insuperable, and will be removed. 

Altogether, the prospect of a bright and prosperous future 
for Russia lies in renouncing old regime methods of govern 
ment. That such a view is not a mere fancy must be felt by all 
those who have watched the rapid progress achieved in the course 
of the last generations. I may be allowed to appeal to my personal 
experience as to the immense change which has taken place. 
Within the short span of my own life, my early childhood s 
recollections reach as far back as the dark age of serfdom. I 
have seen the villagers performing labour services for their squires 
in the fields. And the stages of enlightenment stand out clearly 
before me : the wonderful stir of the reform movement of the 
sixties, full of enthusiasm and hope, striving to create new 
economic conditions, a new judicature, new schools, a new army ; 
the impatience and irritation of the seventies, culminating in 
terroristic attempts on the part of a desperate minority, the 
revival of an emancipation party towards the beginning of 
the new century leading up to the tentative constitutionalism 
of the Duma, the wide diffusion of the ideas of self-government 
and of practical, patriotic work during the present crisis. It is 
no exaggeration to say that national consciousness and political 


efficiency have made immense strides within the last fifty or sixty 
years. In the face of this steady flow of Russian contemporary 
history towards progress there is no room for doubts as to the 
future. Nor is there any danger of the nation losing individual 
character and spiritual originality in the process. Russian litera 
ture, as every one knows by this time, has lost nothing by enter 
ing the ring of European intercourse instead of keeping shyly 
behind the curtain of Muscovite isolation. Pushkin, Turgenev, 
Dostoevsky, Tolstoi have all been at school with the West, have 
studied Shakespeare, Byron, Goethe, Rousseau, and their genius 
has been only fructified by the contact with universal ideas and 
foreign forms. The same may be said about Russian work in 
history, in science, in economics. Perhaps the greatest and most 
beneficial result of the terrible war for Russia will be her coming 
into line with the Western nations in politics and law. This 
will lead to the overthrow of the Chinese wall erected by German 
pedagogues between the Russian Empire and the common 
wealths of Western Europe. A mighty Russia is needed by the 
West the task of Russia is to achieve freedom with the West. 


Cadet or Constitutional Party in the Imperial Duma. 


WE are now drawing near to the solution of a problem which 
has confronted the Russian nation for more than a century, 
that, namely, of the extension of the sovereignty of the Russian 
Empire over those Straits which at once bar the entrance to the 
Black Sea and are the only exit from it. In the interests of 
Russia it is necessary that this question should be settled, and that 
the settlement should be effective. The Straits are highways of 
the sea which must by international law and custom be open to 
the commerce of the world. The Black Sea is not an inland 
territorial lake belonging to Russia, but an open sea, bounded 
not only by Russian territory but by that of the other States 
upon its shores. Hence the Russian dominion over the Straits 
must be reconciled with the interests of neighbouring countries 
and with the requirements of progressive international law. That 
the problem is not a hopeless one is shown by the fact that the 
question of the neutralisation of the Straits was raised on several 
occasions during the period of Turkey s sovereignty, and under 
the late regime of the Straits as established by treaties. The 
existence of such a question has been fully recognised. It is 
evident, however, that the substitution of one sovereignty for 
another does not solve the problem ; it merely places it under 
new conditions, which may turn out to be more favourable to 
its solution than the position created by the treaties which defined 
the sovereignty of Turkey over the Straits. 

261 S 


What, then, is absolutely necessary to Russia in the Straits ? 
The Russian point of view in all its fulness was repeatedly ex 
pressed, so far as it was possible, while Turkey was still a power 
in Europe, and before Europe had taken the Eastern Question 
under its collective tutelage. And not only was our point of 
view openly expressed, but an attempt was made to give effect 
to it in a series of treaties with Turkey. Speaking generally 
our view is this : that entrance to the Black Sea through the 
Straits should be denied to foreign ships of war, while Russian 
war vessels should have free access. 

I shall recall the principal precedents. In 1798 a Russo- 
Turkish treaty of alliance was signed which was to run for eight 
years, and in virtue of which Russia bound herself to assist 
Turkey with twelve ships of war. Turkey on her part was to 
permit the free passage of this auxiliary fleet from the Black Sea 
to the Mediterranean and vice versa. At the same time the 
principle of the closure of the Black Sea to war vessels of other 
nations was maintained. 

The seventh clause of the Russo-Turkish treaty of 1805 
contained the following stipulation : " Both of the high con 
tracting parties agree to regard the Black Sea as a mare c/ausum, 
and not to permit the appearance there of any warship or armed 
vessel belonging to any other Power whatsoever. In the case 
of any Power attempting to appear there armed, both of the 
high contracting parties agree to regard this as a c a sus jcederis^ 
and to oppose it with all their naval force, recognising in this the 
only guarantee of their common safety. It is however under 
stood that free passage through the Straits of Constantinople 
shall continue to be open to the warships and transports of His 
Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, to whom the 
Sublime Porte, in so far as it lies in its power, shall in every case 
lend every assistance and offer every facility." 

The treaty of 1805 was concluded for a term of nine years, 
but in the Anglo-Turkish agreement of 1809 Turkey insisted 
on her ancient right to the exclusive command of the Straits, and 
England submitted to this in order to prevent any exception 
being made in favour of Russia. Nevertheless, in Clause 3 of 
the Treaty of Bucharest, Turkey reaffirmed all former treaties, 


and, consequently, that of 1805. Russia s opportunity to 
secure the open ratification of her rights in the Straits presented 
itself when Turkey, finding herself threatened with ruin by the 
revolt of her Egyptian vassal, was forced to apply for assistance 
to the Russian fleet. The treaty of alliance of Unkiar-Iskelessi 
in 1833 was concluded when a Russian squadron was in the 
Bosphorus and five thousand soldiers of a Russian expeditionary 
force were encamped upon the Asiatic side opposite Buyuk Dere 
in the valley of Unkiar-Iskelessi. A secret clause of this treaty 
of alliance stipulated that " the Porte, in lieu of the assistance it 
was bound to render in view of the reciprocity of the treaty, 
should limit its action in favour of Russia to the closing of the 
Dardanelles ; that is, it should not allow any foreign warships 
to enter on any pretext whatsoever." In virtue of this some 
what indefinite clause, and also of the distinct stipulation of 
the treaty of 1805, certain parts of which were reaffirmed, 
Russian warships retained the right of free passage through the 
Straits. And this was understood by England and France, who 
hastened to protest against the treaty of Unkiar-Iskelessi. Finally 
the question of the Straits became definitely one of international 
law. The status of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus had been 
defined in a whole series of international treaties. According 
to these the exclusive rights of Turkey over the Straits had been 
left in dispute, and had been interpreted by the interested States 
according to circumstances. Thus, at the Berlin Conference, 
Lord Salisbury affirmed that * the obligations undertaken by 
Her Britannic Majesty in the matter of the closing of the Straits 
consisted exclusively of obligations in regard to the Sultan. " 
But Count Shuvalov, in reply to this, demanded that there should 
be registered in the protocol the opinion of Russia * that the 
power to close the Straits is under the control of Europe." At 
a later time England and Russia exchanged positions on this 
point, but nevertheless the point of view of Russia on the subject 
of the desired status of the Straits did not change essentially during 
the whole of this time. It was again expressed in the note 
of A. I. Nelidov of November 10 (22, Old Style), 1877. 
The chief aim of our maritime policy in Turkey is said here to 
be the obtaining of free communication with the Mediterranean 


and the non-admission of a hostile fleet to threaten our Black 
Sea shore. We must devise some arrangement which shall 
guarantee that our fleet alone shall have the right of free naviga 
tion through the Straits." It is true that in the end Nelidov 
made what, regarded in the light of our diplomatic traditions, 
was a distinct concession. Prince Prozorovsky, in his instruc 
tions to Italinsky in 1805, and Count Kamensky in 1810 had 
agreed that not more than three Russian war vessels should pass 
through the Straits at the same time. Nelidov agreed that but 
one should do so. There is no doubt," he said, " that in view 
of the present situation (1877) our naval forces in the Black Sea 
are available only for defence, and that for many years we cannot 
even think of despatching a squadron from the Black Sea which 
could have any influence in the Archipelago or in the Medi 
terranean, especially in comparison with the naval forces of 
England. For us there exists an urgent necessity for single ships 
to pass through, and especially that ships we have either acquired 
abroad or have built in our own dockyards in the northern 
seas should be able to pass freely into the Black Sea." On these 
grounds Nelidov proposed to make the following stipulation 
on the subject of the Straits : The Straits shall remain closed 
to foreign war vessels. The States on the shores of the Black 
Sea shall nevertheless have the right to request the Sultan s per 
mission for the passage of war vessels one at a time." Never 
theless, as is well known, even in this form our demand provoked 
so much opposition on the part of England that it was necessary 
to instruct Count Ignatev definitely as follows : " As it is doubtful 
whether at the conference appointed for the ratification of the 
conditions of peace we shall succeed in obtaining permission for 
the passage, even one at a time, of warships belonging exclusively 
to the States bordering on the Black Sea, the control of the closure 
of the Straits remains the most advantageous thing for us, and 
to that we must hold fast." On these grounds, both in the truce 
which was signed at Adrianople, and in the Treaty of San Stefano, 
the question of the Straits was treated in the most general terms. 
In the second of the memoranda signed by Count Shuvalov and 
the Marquis of Salisbury in London on May 18 (30, Old Style), 
the Russian plenipotentiaries bound themselves to hold to the 


established order in the Straits and not to alter it. In the same 
way the question of the Straits was not raised at Berlin, and the 
old treaties of 1856 and 1871 were left in force. 

At the present time the question of the Straits is being opened 
afresh, under conditions highly favourable to us. On the one 
hand the question of the existence of Turkey in Europe is finally 
settled, and the whole former statement of the question of the 
Straits, which was designed with a view to the preservation of 
the Ottoman Empire, must undergo the most radical alteration. 
The question does not now stand as it stood in the time of Catherine 
the Second or Alexander I. The desire of Dashkov, in the 
secret committee of 1829, to take two stony inlets on the shores 
of the Bosphorus, the proposal of Kiselev to demand from the 
Sultan a harbour at its entrance, the order to Muravev to occupy 
two points on the opposite shores of the Bosphorus, which should 
not be commanded by the surrounding heights, and to place 
artillery and a garrison of a thousand men on each all these 
proposals merely had in view the eventual " approach of a final 
catastrophe on the shores of the Bosphorus (Report of Nessel- 
rode). At the present time the catastrophe has arrived, and we 
are concerned not with preliminary but with final measures. 

On the other hand the problem is being solved under con 
ditions not hitherto existing alliance with England and France 
against Turkey. The obstinate opposition of these two mari 
time powers to the annexation of the Straits by Russia had 
notably diminished from the time when, through the opening 
of the Suez Canal, Constantinople and the Straits had lost their 
importance as the world route to India. If, as a result of the 
war, the uninterrupted influence of England from Alexandria 
to Rangoon is confirmed, we need not expect any opposition 
to the sovereignty of Russia in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. 
Every day, before our eyes, the general opinion in both countries 
is veering round towards the transference of the Straits to Russia. 

But under one condition commerce must be free ; the 
Straits must be neutralised. And we return to the question 
before us : Is such a solution consistent with the interests of 
Russia ? The answer is clear. It would not be so if it implied 
neutralisation of a wide type, with the right of passage for 


war vessels through the Straits. But this solution is so unfavour 
able to the interests of Russia that even during the existence of 
Turkey we preferred to reconcile ourselves to the status quo and 
leave the Straits entirely closed, even to ourselves, so long as they 
were not open to any naval squadron. There can be no doubt 
that the situation which will be created by the disappearance 
of Turkey cannot be less advantageous than that which obtained 
during its existence. If such were to be the case we should have 
to refrain from fighting against Turkey and from taking Con 
stantinople in concert with our Allies. We should be com 
pelled instead to oppose most resolutely any transference and 
to support the hopelessly " Sick Man." It is therefore evident 
that the freedom of the Straits their neutralisation cannot 
be understood in this sense, so dangerous and prejudicial to us. 
But this does not in the least mean that in the interests of Russia 
we should be obliged to refuse every kind of freedom and every 
form of neutralisation. We must, incontestably, safeguard, in the 
first place, the freedom of commerce which already existed under 
Turkish sovereignty ; but we must go further and consolidate 
that freedom. Only in that case can the transference of the 
Straits from Turkish hands to ours have the character of a pro 
gressive change in the interests of the world at large. 

The resolutions of the last inter-parliamentary conference 
at the Hague, held from the 3rd to the 5th September 1913, 
point out to us the road along which it is possible to go without 
exposing our sovereignty to any material limitation, or creating 
any serious danger for the defence of the Straits. The conference 
made a concession to the present ruler of the Straits by post 
poning any decision on the question of the passage of ships of 
war. It is to be expected that the same prudence which the 
international lawyers displayed on this occasion will also mark 
their dealings with the new Sovereign of the Straits, w r ho will 
have become such as the result of a victorious war. In this 
way there may be found a basis of agreement likely to satisfy all 

It will merely be necessary that the conditions of an agree 
ment such as is here indicated should be made known at the 
proper time to all interested parties. It may be that the friction 


inevitably produced by the breaking up of an established tradi 
tion will disappear of itself as well as the antagonism at present 
exhibited by the inherent conservatism of a progressively con 
stituted people to a demand which appears to them to be a mani 
festation of aggressive " imperialism." 

Finally, looking at the subject from the other side, we must 
free our legitimate national aspirations evoked by the objective 
necessities of the moment from all accretions due to traditional 
nationalistic ideas, for at the present time these aspirations are 
so closely associated with the idea and with the name of 
Tsargrad that to many, both amongst the supporters and 
the opponents of the traditional view, they seem to be insepar 
ably bound up with it. 

This is necessary, in order that our Allies may know that our 
vital interest in, and unceasing demand for, the control of the 
Straits has nothing in common either with the bogey of " Pan- 
slavism with which the adherents of Pan-germanism used 
to terrify Europe, or with the militarist tendencies to which those 
who are striving for the organised peace of Europe wish with 
good reason to set bounds. The possession of Constantinople and 
the Straits is an end, not a beginning. And together with the 
final solution of old-standing and complicated problems bound 
by the Gordian knot of the Turkish tradition, the settlement of 
the question of the Straits will make possible the triumphant 
relegation to the domain of history of that Eastern Question by 
which Europe has so long been vexed. 


A celebrated Russian Nerve Specialist. 


MORE than a year and a half has gone by since the prohibition 
of the free sale of strong spirituous liquors in Russia, and the 
decree which abolished the Government traffic in vodka. 

As to the desirability of this reform, due as it was to the War, 
there were no two opinions in Russian society. For it was 
evident to all that the * Drink Budget by which Russia had 
lived for so many years was ruinous to the country ; and in the 
prohibition of the free sale of intoxicating liquors all saw an act 
of magnificent, imperial grandeur. I myself felt impelled to 
write in one of my articles as follows : The prohibition of the 
sale of strong spirits in consequence of the War stands out as an 
enactment of such profound importance that it may well be 
worth more to us than many victories on the field of battle." 

We must not, however, overlook the fact that reforms of such 
vast social significance as the enforcement of temperance upon 
a nation of many millions cannot be accomplished by a Govern 
ment decree alone, that it must be supported by the action of 
secret forces hidden in the depths of the nation s soul. Would 
it be possible in time of peace to imagine Russia brought 
to sobriety at one stroke as the result of an Imperial ukase ? 
No ! Without the realisation by the whole people of the 
immense gravity of the crisis, without that wonderfully heroic 
mood of the nation which revealed itself at the moment of 
the outbreak of the war with Germany, it could never have 
come to pass that in one splendid day that should be accom 
plished which on the day before would have seemed to many 



an impracticable Utopian dream. We now see completely 
realised the hopes which have long inspired Russian social workers, 
students, and especially alienists, who had expressed their views 
very strongly not only in private but also in public assemblies. 
I remember how at the first meeting of Russian alienists which 
took place at Moscow in 1885 much was said about the injurious 
effect of alcohol on the mental health of the populace. About 
ten years later, at the second meeting of Russian alienists at Kiev, 
I stated, in my capacity of President of the Assembly convened 
to report on alcoholism, that over and above the individual efforts 
which were being made against alcoholism we should have 
recourse to efforts put forth by society as a whole, and that the 
struggle against it was of the very greatest importance. And 
at this council I also expressed the opinion that the Government 
should be petitioned, in the interests of national health, not to 
make the traffic in strong drink a source of revenue. 

Moreover, at the third meeting of Russian alienists at Petro- 
grad in 1910, when dwelling on the question of alcohol, I spoke 
as follows : " In view of the vast influence on the development 
of nervous and mental diseases of the universal consumption of 
alcohol, it is necessary to endeavour by all means to secure that 
its free sale shall be completely forbidden, like that of all other 
noxious drugs." 

Much was said on this subject also at the first meeting held 
in connection with the campaign against drunkenness by societies 
and commissions occupied with the problem of alcoholism, but I 
shall cite here merely the statements made in conferences at 
which collective scientific thought has found expression, and shall 
not touch upon the numerous reports made by individual mental 
specialists or other students of the subject, including myself. 
But all these express the conviction that in the interests of the 
mental and physical health of the community a most determined 
fight must be made against alcohol as a curse to society. 

I shall also show that in that same year, 1912, in my article 
" Alcohol and Statecraft or Alcohol and Hygiene," in refutation of 
the views of Professor I. Sikorsky, I plainly stated : It must 
be evident to every one that such a far-reaching struggle against 
the spread of alcoholism cannot even be discussed here in Russia 


until alcohol has ceased to be regarded as a desirable source of 
Imperial revenue. This source of revenue should be looked upon 
not as desirable and legitimate but as pernicious and to be dis 
pensed with at the earliest possible moment." 

It is now clearly of extreme importance to explain in what 
measure the hopes built upon the sobering of Russia have been 
justified. Undoubtedly the time is still too short to admit of a 
complete appraisement of the results of the measures taken, but 
it is nevertheless possible to say that even in the short time during 
which the prohibition has been in force our rural districts have 
become unrecognisable. It was thanks to this measure that 
our gigantic military forces were mobilised in an atmosphere 
of sobriety and in such good order as had never been seen even 
during ordinary recruiting periods in time of peace. Always 
and everywhere there reigned a clear consciousness of duty, 
which under former conditions would of course have been be 
clouded by the fumes of strong liquor. Nor is this all. Our 
country districts have been transformed also from the economic 
point of view. * Sobriety has saved the economic prosperity 
of our rural life," writes S. Ippolitov on July 18, 1915, "has 
preserved for it the means of existence, saved from imminent 
bankruptcy the co-operative movement founded with so much 
difficulty, rescued the various credit institutions from the greatest 
danger, etc. etc." 

If the national savings have not merely escaped dissipation, 
but have already increased ; if the nation s power of payment has 
not been impaired, but on the contrary has grown ; if national 
prosperity has revived in a remarkable degree, all these are but 
a few of the many services rendered by the new habit of sobriety. 

Thanks to temperance the condition of the people has become 
even externally healthier and better. Many blighting influ 
ences which were slowly destroying the life of the people were 
removed as though by some unseen hand. Those who watch 
over the national life could not rejoice sufficiently when they 
saw the decrease in hooliganism, incendiarism, brawling, murder 
all crimes which used to be committed by the people under 
the influence of drink. Especially has this change occurred 
amongst the working class and the town proletariat. This is 


testified by a series of reports from social workers and other persons 
whose work brings them into close touch with these classes. 
Among other things it has been repeatedly stated that houses of 
detention as well as infirmaries, which formerly treated cases of 
alcoholic insanity, find their work very much lessened. And, 
in general, that element of the population which is known as the 
vagabond or tramp class began to decrease remarkably from the 
moment of the enforcement of the decree. 

Even as early as July 6 we read in a telegram from Odessa 
which appeared in one of the Petrograd newspapers : " A meet 
ing of the Society of Night Refuges in the harbour has reported 
a new phenomenon. The harbour has become sober. The tramp 
of Odessa has left off drinking, and his whole appearance has 
undergone a change. The former harbour loafer has smartened 
up and arrayed himself in high boots and dark blue workman s 
costume. Tramps are now few in number ; many are at the 
war, some have gone into different trades, and some as volunteers 
into the army. Notwithstanding the small amount of business 
being done at the harbour there is practically no distress among 
the casual labourers. In the evenings they frequent the reading- 
room, where there is a regular scramble for seats." 

Such, then, are some immediate results of the step which has 
been taken. 

It should also be pointed out that owing to this new sobriety 
it has been possible to raise in Russia during the period of 
the War such loans as the first, of one milliard of roubles 
(/i 00,000,000), and the second of two milliards of roubles 
(200,000,000) a thing which could not have been so much 
as thought of before the reform. And at the present moment, 
notwithstanding the recent success of the first loan, there can 
be no two opinions with regard to that of the next loan of two 
milliards, for, to quote a newspaper, the banks and savings 
banks are, one may say, bursting with money which flows into 
them in a broad uninterrupted stream." 

But it is not only the economic side of life which is affected. 
There can be no doubt that the nation s sobriety must react in 
the most marked manner upon the moral and physical health of 
the masses ; and in this respect its earliest results may even 


now be appraised, although it is not yet possible to express them 
in figures. 

I need hardly say that the economic well-being of the com 
munity brought about by the reform must conduce in an enormous 
degree to the restoration of national health, an improvement 
which is being reflected in the death-rate, which, as is well known, 
is very high in Russia as compared with other nations. 

Amongst other things it is well known that the number of 
cases of infectious disease may be taken as one of the best possible 
indications of the condition of the public health. And we 
possess this information for the year of the reform with respect 
to Petrograd, which, as is well known, is far from being very 
fortunate in its general sanitary conditions. In the words of 
Dr. Kashkadomov, the Director of the Bureau of Research into 
Epidemic Diseases in Petrograd, " the year of the war has been 
found to be better than previous years in respect of public health." 

This is due to a large number of causes, but one of the chief 
of these is undoubtedly the cessation of the sale of alcohol, for 
with the prohibition of that health-destroying poison the quality 
of the people s food began to improve notwithstanding its 
increasing cost. 

But it is well known that alcohol acts perniciously not only 
on its consumers but on their posterity, revealing itself in forms 
of epilepsy, idiocy, and general nervous and mental infirmities. 

It is further known that suicide stands in the closest relation 
to the consumption of alcohol, and we possess reports, confirmed 
by careful statistics, on the diminished number of suicides in 
large centres, such, for instance, as Petrograd. Finally, we must 
not, in appraising the value of the measure in question, leave out 
of sight the question of the- improvement in the moral condition 
of the people in respect, as we have already stated, of the 
diminution of hooliganism and crime, and of the check which 
has already been given to depravity of all kinds. 

The prohibition of the sale of strong drink was followed 
almost immediately by references in the press to the astonishing 
decrease in the number of cases of disorder and crime. And 
it is beyond all doubt that national sobriety will largely contri 
bute to the moral regeneration of the country. 


If we turn to the statistics bearing on the decrease of crime 
in war-time, it will be extremely difficult to determine how much 
of it is to be ascribed to the new habit of sobriety and how much 
to war-time conditions. But in any case it is impossible not 
to observe in our capitals and other towns the significant diminu 
tion, confirmed by the statistics issued. 

Lastly, public immorality which, with its attendant social evils, 
is well known to be closely connected with the consumption of 
alcohol, has notably diminished in Petrograd from the time of 
the prohibition of the sale of vodka. This is also the case in 
greater or less degree in other towns. 

All these considerations are of such a nature that from the 
national and social point of view it is impossible to regard the 
prohibition of the sale of strong drinks otherwise than as an act 
not merely of the greatest economic significance, but as essentially 
conducive to the physical and moral well-being of the popula 
tion a thing clearly of the highest national importance. 

It must, however, be noted that the press soon began to be 
full of reports to the effect that the people were having recourse 
to denatured spirits both in the country and in towns. From 
the country districts came rumours that the people were making 
khanzha^- and brazhka^ in their homes, and from the East came 
rumours about the abuse of kumis (an evil which had, 
however, begun to spread before this time through the influence 
of strangers from the province of Vyatsk), and it was also 
said that the people generally were consuming all kinds of 
substitutes for vodka, some of them dangerous to life, such as 
Eau de Cologne and spirit varnishes. But it is certainly useless 
to expect that a poison which had so long been acting on the 
system of the victims of alcohol could be neutralised at a single 
stroke, and that in the case of habitual drunkards the craving 
for the accustomed narcosis would not reassert itself without any 
regard to the danger of this or that substitute. 

But of course the persons here in question are the confirmed 
and hopeless drunkards, people who, at least in the absence of 
special medical assistance, are inevitably doomed to perish, and 
obviously it was not this class that the reforming measure had 

1 Methylated spirit flavoured with cranberries. l A home-made malt liquor. 


in view. Nor, of course, did it contemplate the suppression of 
the sale of opium, morphia, or cocaine, with which under one 
pretext or another people began to drug themselves, until, 
having become confirmed narco-maniacs, they procure narcotic 
drugs by all and any means whether legitimate or not. 

The prohibition has in view as its chief object the prevention 
of the uncontrolled distribution of narcotic poisons amongst 
persons who have no need for them. These persons, especially 
the young, who through idleness and the bad example of others 
become addicted to their use, are in ever-increasing numbers 
swelling the ranks of habitual drunkards. 

Yet none the less every general reform must keep in view 
not only an abrogation of the old order of things, but the creation 
of a new order. We have not, so far, arrived at this constructive 
stage. In the meantime what is wanted for the populace is not 
a one-sided reform, consisting of the mere prohibition of the 
free sale of spirituous liquors, but side by side with this a reform 
which shall aim at the provision of some means for employing 
the people s leisure with rational amusements, an end which 
might be attained by the extensive foundation of people s palaces 
and other institutions of an elevating character. And this, j udging 
by the latest reports, seems to be already in contemplation. 

These palaces ought to be surrounded by reading-rooms and 
libraries, and should be used for popular lectures, village 
theatricals, and other amusements, during which the sale of 
refreshments, sweets, and non-alcoholic drinks should be per 

At first, having regard to the urgency of the need of such 
places, it might be possible in some villages to make use of any 
public buildings already existing, but it would, of course, be neces 
sary to guarantee that these people s palaces should eventually 
possess their own buildings, as they already do, for instance, in 
Finland. In any case the arrangements for such centres of 
enlightenment should be made without delay, and the charge 
of them committed to the local authorities. Where it is possible 
it will be very desirable to establish them in connection with 
temperance societies and other organisations of an elevating 
tendency. These societies might arrange lectures and con- 


ferences on the subject of the injury caused by alcohol to the 
nation s health. Similar lectures and short courses of instruction 
might be instituted in all national schools, and also in the middle 
and higher-class educational institutions. It must be understood 
that only a well-thought-out and organised campaign against 
alcoholism on the part of every section of society can eradicate 
this disease from the Russian masses, but the prospects of im 
provement in the social, economic, and hygienic conditions of the 
nation opened up by this reform are so alluring and full of promise 
that this object should be pursued unremittingly and untiringly. 

It is thought by some that it is possible to convert the nation 
to habits of sobriety whilst tolerating the sale of the milder 
spirituous liquors ; but the experience of the countries of 
Western Europe shows that alcoholism can never be destroyed 
in this way, because the taste for light wines and for beer spreads 
itself with extraordinary rapidity, and the amount of alcohol 
consumed in the form of these beverages very soon exceeds that 
consumed in the form of strong spirits. Moreover, wine, by 
reason of its agreeable properties, is shown by the experience of 
all countries to be specially prone to lead to alcoholism, especially 
among women and children. As an example of the way in 
which alcoholism may be induced and diffused by means of 
wine, we may cite the case of the Caucasus, where drunkenness, 
speaking generally, prevails to an enormous extent. Here, no 
matter at what price wine may be offered for sale, the people 
fly to it like moths into a flame. It is singular, however, that 
a very efficient means of combating drunkenness is found in 
beverages containing not more than 2 per cent of alcohol such as 
kvass, light beers, mead, and certain liquors prepared from berries. 

The production and distribution of such beverages should 
certainly be encouraged by the removal of the duties on them, 
and a scheme to this effect is already under the consideration of 
the Ministry of Finance. In any case it is absolutely necessary 
that the strongest possible support should be given by the Ex 
chequer to the movement for the suppression of substitutes for 
vodka and other strong drinks. These substitutes are clandes 
tinely manufactured on a large scale, and their sale is carried on 
both in towns and in country districts in a systematic and highly 


organised manner. It is by the enactment of such measures, 
and in this way alone, that we can have any assurance that the 
hope of one day seeing Russia a really temperate country will ever 
be realised. Hence it is much to be desired that the reform move 
ment should be carried out to the fullest extent, and to this end 
there should be complete prohibition of the free sale of spirituous 
liquors which are regarded by science as injurious on account 
of the amount of alcohol which they contain. Moreover, in order 
that the reform should not be limited to this prohibition, some 
other measures should be concerted in connection with it 
measures which will furnish the people with new and healthful 
interests and activities with which to fill that unoccupied leisure 
which will hang so heavily on their hands when the new reform 
has abolished the idle loafing of the old drunken days. A great 
reform like this must be carried out with thoroughness, for thus 
and thus only, will it yield its priceless fruits in full abundance. 



BY PROFESSOR I. KH. OZEROV, Member of the Council of State 

(the Russian Upper House) 


BEFORE us lies a great problem the development of Russia s 
natural resources. An enormous territory has been given us and a 
richly endowed population, and, until now, we, that is the public 
and the Government, have not solved this great problem, nor 
even conceived the means to that end. 

For the exploitation of our Empire s economic potentialities, 
it will first be necessary for our population to evince a creative 
spirit, and to be intelligently observant of the riches lying 
at their feet ; secondly, we must above all be of one mind, 
for only under the banner of union are men able to control 
nature. Finally, transport facilities must be provided in other 
words, space and distance have to be overcome. 

How does the matter stand with us in this last respect ? Let 
us take the year 1913 and consider in various States the extent 
of the railway in relation to the size of the population. Then we 
shall see that the best means of communication exist in the Argen 
tine, Canada, and the .United States, that is, in those countries 
which in recent years have the most rapidly progressed. See 
how the Argentine has within recent times developed her agricul 
tural exports and her cattle-breeding ! I will not cite Canada 
and the United States. 

The explanation is simple. For every 10,000 inhabitants 
in the Argentine there are 67.9 kilometres of railway, in Canada 
60.8, in the United States 42.3 ; while in European Russia 
there are only 4.8. In neighbouring States Bulgaria takes the 
next place, 4.5 ; Serbia, 3.6 ; European Turkey, 3.2. 

277 T 


No less interesting is the comparison between the length of 
railways and the area of various States, the length of railways 
being calculated to every hundred square kilometres of territory. 
In Germany 13.8, in Great Britain 12, in Switzerland 11.97, 
in Holland and Denmark 9.8 ; but in Russia only 1.2. In 
neighbouring States Bulgaria on one side had 2 kilometres, 
European Turkey 1.2. It is true that this method of computa 
tion is less favourable to the Argentine and Canada, but on the 
other hand it gives a much more exact idea than by calculations 
based on the size of the population. 

With regard, therefore, to our native country, whether the 
length of railway be in relation to the size of the population or 
to the area of territory, it is always the same tale, we are the 

This is the misfortune of the internal economy of Russia, 
and the consequence is that while we have great natural wealth, 
we are not in a position to make use of it. For instance, rich 
ores containing 80 per cent of lead are peacefully sleeping on the 
Murman Hills ; our forests in the North dream in undisturbed 
somnolence throughout the course of centuries ; granite lies 
slumbering on the Yenisei. All these riches await man s 
command to enter into his service. And he is silent. Russia is 
a kind of spell-bound, lethargic kingdom, in which lies dormant 
infinite, inexhaustible wealth. 

It is therefore clear that one of the first tasks of Russia is the 
organisation of ways and means of communication. Our great 
mistake has been the lack of this organisation, and it behoves us 
after the War and even now to set to work at this task with the 
greatest energy. Thus we shall further the reduction of the by 
no means small amount of our paper money, for we shall raise the 
exchange value of our rouble, and, what is of great consequence, 
we shall render possible a fuller use of our agricultural wealth, 
and restore to the Russian his former ascendancy in this depart 
ment. The War disclosed not only our military but our economic 

If formerly in the face of these inquiries we bore ourselves 
with academic tranquillity, such lack of concern is at the present 
moment not permissible. When the house is burning the time 


has gone by for the discussion of the inflammability of its 
material ; action only is required. May our people now recog 
nise the value of some acquaintance with economic phenomena, 
and, what is of especial importance, may they be inspired to 
take an active part in their own economic life. Finally, may 
our century-long slumber vanish from our eyes ; may we under 
stand, with all our minds, that it is necessary to work and again 
to work, that it is necessary at any cost to do something, that 
there is no greater crime to one s country than inaction. 

And we must thoroughly comprehend that it is only the 
vision of our broad horizons that can inspire us to this great work. 
Inspiration is not only necessary now, on the battlefield ; it will 
be so in a still greater degree afterwards, for the building up of 
our economic life. 

After the War there will be big breaches in our revenue. 
Consider merely the interest payable on our loans : if the War 
continues no longer than to the end of 1916, it will probably 
cost us some twenty milliard roubles, and the interest on this sum 
alone will be more than a milliard of roubles. We have also to 
bear in mind that the pension payable to the soldiers maimed 
and wounded in the War, and the compensation for those killed 
(a project for which is even now before the Imperial Duma), 
will annually require hundreds of millions of roubles ; further, 
that the payment of interest upon our Gold Bonds is increased 
by a huge amount because of the present high value of gold ; 
and that the closure of the Government wine-shops creates a 
great deficit in our budget, to which must be added the 
diminution in the revenue from taxes and industrial and agrarian 

All this will call for huge sums sums not to be raised by any 
kind of income tax, but which will have to be supplied solely 
by the productive forces of our country. It is obvious to me 
that the key of the supplies for our revenue has for the first time 
fallen from the hands of the Minister of Finance into the hands 
of the Ministers of Trade and Manufactures, of Agriculture, and 
of National Education. 

As soon as the lever of the productive forces of our country 
has been raised, we shall be in a position to find the means for 


swelling our revenue. But now, heroic efforts are necessary to 
free ourselves from our former deadly condition, to get rid of 
the routine in which we were immersed. Colossal efforts and 
immense labour will be needed for the surmounting of all the 
obstacles before us. We shall only accomplish this task by 
vigorously pulling ourselves together ; and in this bracing and 
inspiriting of ourselves lies our safety. May the thought of the 
creation of a great and new Russia burn in our hearts ! may it 
inflame our imagination ! may it guide us in all our actions ! 
There is no need to be low-spirited, for there will be no lack of 
creative power. We shall create a new Russia, a bright, great, 
glorious Russia. 

Living with this belief in the brightness of Russia s future, 
we meantime borrow from it, and we are also cheered by the 
actual fact of the total abstinence of our population. Our hopes 
and desires are bound up with the consolidation of this reform. 
The universal sobriety of Russia has been equivalent to an 
annual investment in our national industries of vast sums of 
money. But to-day, all the same, this sobriety resembles a cone 
balanced on its sharp point. That is to say, it is in an un 
stable position. For any permanent reform a development of 
public spirit will be requisite. The solution of this problem 
lies in the creating of an intelligent leisure for our people it 
will be necessary to establish education outside school education, 
perhaps to organise a whole staff of lecturers, who would circulate 
among the population, spreading superior agricultural know 
ledge, and awakening creative instinct. Alas, instead of this, a 
love of games of hazard and the spreading of wild ideas, such 
as those of religious fanaticism, have been noticeable in some 
localities ! 

To repeat, national abstinence is a great reform, and it must 
be established on a firm basis. The country will have to be 
studded with village clubs, so as to give the population an 
opportunity of passing their leisure intelligently. It is curious 
to note that the effect of alcohol on the soul of the population 
in big centres, wherein existed facilities for the intelligent spend 
ing of leisure, was less injurious than on that of the population in 
the little towns, where the people were simply bored to death. 


Therefore, libraries, suitable literature, peoples palaces, with 
cinematographs where scientific and geographical and agricultural 
pictures might be shown all these must be instituted. And, 
in future, careful attention will also have to be paid to the improve 
ment of the housing in our towns, for bad housing conditions 
largely contributed to our people s insobriety. This is well 
understood in Western Europe, where large sums are expended 
for this object. 

Once the habit of sobriety has been confirmed, the after 
effects of this unexampled War will be easily counteracted. A 
sober population, having in mind its own strength, energy, and 
boldness in past times, when with primitive means it so success 
fully colonised the huge expanses of contemporary Russia, 
will find means to call forth the natural riches that are buried in 
her womb. It will only be necessary to open the doors to private 
initiative. Already, in the shadow of this great War, a change 
has come over the cast of the people s thought. They have 
grown conscious that included within the domain of imperial and 
public service are the building up of Russia s industries and the 
encouragement of agricultural economy. 

In order to induce our population to assist financially the 
growing industries of Russia, it will be necessary, certainly, to 
facilitate the formation (within a reasonable degree) of joint-stock 
companies, and at the same time to keep a more watchful eye 
on such companies, possibly by Government inspection, as is the 
case in England. This will give investors confidence as to the 
security of their capital. 

It will also be the duty of the Ministry of Trade and Manu 
factures to take all possible measures to further the develop 
ment within our boundaries of Russian trade and industry, 
especially with regard to those goods that hitherto have been 
imported from without, and particularly from Germany. This 
development must certainly be gradual, because we shall have 
to learn as a preliminary how and under what conditions articles 
may be produced by us, and because this development will be 
largely founded on industrial credit. 

Siberia is practically auriferous throughout, but the gold is 
not always of an industrial character, that is, does not always bear 


profitable interest. All the same, if we collect some of the money 
necessary to pay our foreign loans by increasing our exports and 
by properly organising them, we can on the other hand also 
raise funds by the development of our gold industry, and, 
with a view to this, especial attention must be paid to the colonisa 
tion of the auriferous districts in Siberia and to the provision of 
ways~and means of communication. 

The Ministry of Agriculture, to judge by its encouragement 
of the exploitation of our natural products in Siberia, thoroughly 
comprehends the problems to be solved ; while the Ministry of 
Finance marks its belief in the necessity of developing the 
productive powers of Russia by the fact that it hesitates to 
allow the introduction into Russia of any kind of monopoly 
thus evincing a desire to anticipate such monopoly by awaken 
ing and developing that individual initiative which, together 
with those natural resources at our command, will, I am con 
vinced, work wonders. The Ministry of Trade and Manufactures 
has, evidently, also recognised the disadvantages of those limits 
which have hitherto so restricted the development of trade and 

Add to all this an awakening through our schools of the creative 
instinct of the people, together with a zest for work and for good 
work, and we shall create among ourselves a new man, able with 
his knowledge and his energy to breathe life into Russia s giant 
strength. These new inspirations, like the water of life in 
Russian fairy-tales, will quickly cure our wounds and breathe 
new life into our Motherland. 

In the present gloomy times one of our duties is to keep up 
our spirits. In the picture of our Russian life, dark, sad tones 
are too much inclined to predominate. The Almighty has 
given us heavy burdens to bear. But Russia has more than 
once had to face still greater trials. Let us remember " the 
troublous times at the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
the war with the Swedes that terminated at Poltava, and 1812. 
Those were dark and ominous days. But Russia emerged from 
them stronger and more powerful than before. 

We all firmly believe that the insolent foe who has trans 
gressed all laws, divine and human, will be broken. 


We, the representatives of legislative corporations and of 
government, are united as one man. 

Our heavy burdens are God s punishment to us for the sins of 
our internal, economic policy, and we must hope that this punish 
ment may serve as a lesson. We have seen how our dependence 
upon Germany arose from our neglect to develop our own 
natural resources. For this both the Government and the people 
were to blame. We were simply asleep. There being no spirit 
of research within us, we sucked no advantage from our own 
wealth. We lacked the necessary confidence in ourselves. 

We must now hope that ways and means of activity will be 
found among us, and that mistrust will disappear. The present 
War is a war of the manufactures and industries of one group of 
countries with the manufactures and industries of the other 

The steps taken for the exploitation of the resources of our 
great country will have a decisive influence upon the War. For 
that reason we must put forth all our strength and all our energy. 

Translated by SUSETTE M. TAYLOR. 


BY R. W. SETON-WATSON, D.Litt., Lecturer in East European 
History at King s College, University of London. 

PUBLIC opinion in this country is only too apt to regard the Great 
War as an Anglo-German conflict, and to overlook the vast issues 
which it involves in Eastern Europe. The German Chancellor, 
during a lucid interval in the torrent of invective against perfide 
Albion, rightly described this War as the decisive struggle between 
Teuton and Slav. If outside Europe the main issue to be decided 
by the War is the future development of the British Empire and 
its^dependencies, what is really at stake inside Europe itself is 
the future of the Slavonic race as a whole. During a great 
portion of the nineteenth century it was the fashion in many 
serious quarters to deny the existence of a Slavonic Question, 
or to represent the Slavs as barbarians and their free development 
as a grave danger to Europe. Such myths die hard, but they 
are in their death -throes to-day. The German Drang nach 
Osten, so long regarded as a mere theoretical danger which con 
cerned Russia far more closely than ourselves, has become to-day 
a grave menace to the whole future of the British Empire. Thus 
Russian and British interests, which were never at any time 
so divergent as the hot-heads on both sides endeavoured to con 
vince us, have become to-day identical. The great German 
design the establishment of a German hegemony from Hamburg 
to the Persian Gulf threatens Russia with the final destruction 
of her most cherished aspirations. In the problem of Con 
stantinople her future as a nation, her religious tradition, her 
most vital economic requirements, are all equally at stake, and 
with them that spiritual leadership which is her birthright as 



the eldest sister of the Slavonic and Orthodox worlds. To 
Britain the realisation of the Pan-German plan would present an 
equal menace ; for the domination of the Continent, which it 
would involve, would only be the first step towards the establish 
ment of world dominion and the downfall of the British Empire. 
Germany s main aim is to extend and consolidate that hege 
mony over Austria-Hungary and the Balkans which she has so 
successfully asserted during the first two years of war. For her 
and her most trusted ally, the Magyar Government, 30,000,000 
Slavs and Latins of the Dual Monarchy are to continue to play 
their old unhappy role of Stimmvtch (voting cattle) in peace and 
Kanonenfutter (cannon-fodder) in war, and to supply the neces 
sary field first for economic expansion and then for a grandiose 
scheme of Germanic colonisation. Unless we can deliver Austria- 
Hungary from the control of Berlin, and by reducing it to its 
component parts restore to its many races the possibility of free 
national development, there will not only have been no victory 
for the Allies, but their position after the War will be far more pre 
carious than before. For " Mitteleuropa " will have been achieved, 
the dream of Berlin to Bagdad will have become a reality, and 
Prussia s economic and military supremacy in Europe will be 
assured. To us, then, the emancipation of the Slav democracies 
of Central Europe means, on the one hand, the fulfilment of our 
programme, the vindication of the Principle of Nationality, 
and, on the other hand, the provision of guarantees such as alone 
can render the future of the Western Powers free from intoler 
able menace. To Russia it means something more something 
which altogether transcends the tremendous economic interests 
involved in the problem of the Straits. For the ties which bind 
together the various branches of the Slavonic race have always 
been far closer, far more subtle, far more irresistible than those 
between the Teutonic or Latin races. There is, despite the 
inevitable internal family quarrels, a certain solidarity of feeling 
which may be resented, or feared, or opposed by the outside 
world, but cannot be explained away something which rises 
superior to differences of language, religion, geography, and 
historic tradition some deep-seated call of the blood which 
nothing can ever eradicate. 


Not the least remarkable feature in that spiritual Pan-Slavism 
which was the forerunner of all kindred political movements, 
is the fact that its origin is to be traced not in Russia, among 
the greatest of the Slavonic races, but among Russia s half- 
forgotten kinsmen of Dalmatia, Bohemia, and Slovacia. 
Kri2anic, the Croat Catholic priest, who in the seventeenth 
century produced a Pan-Slav grammar, pled the cause of Church 
reunion and made a strange ecstatic appeal to the Tsar as the 
liberator of the Danubian Slavs, was not, as it might seem, a 
mere isolated figure. As early as 1584 Bohoricz, a Slovene 
schoolmaster from Ljubljana (Laibach), published at Witten 
berg a book on Slovene literature, in which the Slav language 
(slavica lingua) is treated as a reality. The Slav poets of the 
Ragusan republic, especially the famous Gundulic, sang the 
exploits of famous Slavonic kings ; and Ka&d, the reviver of 
Croat popular poetry in Dalmatia in the eighteenth century, 
cites the quaint legend of Alexander the Great having made a 
will in favour of the Slavs. The book of another Dalmatian 
Croat, Orbini, published in Italy in 1601, was thought worth 
translating into Russian by an Orthodox archbishop more than 
a century later. Many other instances of Slav solidarity could 
be quoted, even from such unlikely sources as the writings of 
Bohemian Jesuits in the eighteenth century. 

It was among the Slovaks that the first modern exponent of 
Pan-Slavism in its ideal form arose. During the first half of the 
nineteenth century Jan Kollar, who was clergyman of the Slovak 
Lutheran Church in Budapest, wrote two epoch-making books 
a long epic poem, * The Daughter of Slava," in which he sang 
the glories of Slavdom, and created in imitation of Dante a 
mythical Slav Olympus and Hades, where the friends and enemies 
of the Slav race are picturesquely grouped ; and a short essay 
advocating * : The Literary Reciprocity of all Slavs." His appeal 
for closer intercourse among the various branches of the race, 
the fervour with which he argued that the feeling of Slav 
solidarity must transcend all political and religious differences, 
awakened a resounding echo throughout the Slav world. His 
equally famous contemporary, Safarik, also a Slovak by birth, 
published a history of * Slav Antiquities which will always 


remain the foundation-stone of all study of Slav origins, whether 
in the matter of language, geography, or race. As Kollar himself 
pointed out, it was natural enough that this idea of reciprocity 
should have struck deep roots and spread most rapidly among the 
Slovaks, who had hitherto produced little of their own literature, 
and out of the isolation of neglect and oppression were the 
first to stretch out their hands to embrace all Slavs." The 
labours of these pioneers were supplemented by the great scholars 
and philologists of Prague, whose researches paved the way for 
that intellectual and political renaissance of Bohemia which has 
been one of the most remarkable incidents in the whole nation 
alist movement of modern times. 

In the year of revolution 1848, Prague instantly leapt into 
prominence as a focus of Slav ideas, and it was there that the 
first Slavonic congress was held. Under the presidency of the 
great Czech historian Palacky, delegates assembled from Poland, 
Serbia, Croatia, the Slovak districts, and even Russia. It was 
the answer of the Slav world to the convocation of the German 
Federal Diet at Frankfort. It is true that its results were even 
more inconclusive than those of the rival assembly. There 
was no sure political foundation upon which to build, and the 
various sections among the delegates had widely divergent aims 
and aspirations. In the words of a French historian, " Austria was 
for some a goal, and for others a harbour of refuge, and each in 
terpreted principles in the light of his needs and passions " : and 
it is curious to note that the idea of Pan-Slav federation in its most 
advanced form was urged most strongly by the very men who 
were most hostile to the " Slavophils" of Russia. But, however 
inconclusive the congress may have seemed, an important step 
had been taken in the path towards a mutual intercourse, without 
which all Pan-Slav dreams must remain mere platonic vapourings, 
or, worse still, the cloak for imperialist designs of conquest. 

The Pan-Slav congress which was held at Moscow in 1867 
was attended by many western Slavs, notably the great Czech 
leaders Palacky, Rieger, and Gregr. But their visit proved 
actually detrimental to their own immediate cause ; for, on 
the one hand, it provided Austria with a fresh excuse for the 
famous policy of " shoving the Slavs against the wall," which 


found expression in the Austro-Hungarian Ausgle ich of the 
same year, and, on the other hand, a bad impression was created 
in many quarters by the fact that the organisers of the congress 
represented extreme reaction alike in Russia and in Europe, and 
had been foremost in their approval of the brutal repression of 
Poland only four years earlier. In those days political passions 
still obscured what is so obvious to the world to-day, that a system 
which at one and the same time could advocate the Pan-Slav idea 
and the impossibility of any understanding between Russia and 
Poland until both the Polish nobility and the Catholic Church 
had been rooted out, was obviously bankrupt and doomed to 
failure. The Polish Question, then, was the real reason why so 
long an interval elapsed before the next congress could be held. 
It remained, in the words of the leading Russophil of Bohemia, 
Dr. KramaF, whom in June 1916 the butchers of Vienna con 
demned to death, " an ever-bleeding wound on the Slav body." 
Since the opening of the new century, and especially since the 
Japanese war and the Russian revolution, a new tendency became 
noticeable under the name of * Neoslavism." The root-idea 
of its most eager advocates, notably of Kramaf, was the recon 
ciliation of Poles and Russians as the keystone to all progress 
in Slavonic questions ; and this was the chief note of the congress 
held in Prague in 1908. Considerations of internal policy, both 
in Russia and elsewhere, made it difficult to reach any concrete 
results. But it is probably true to say that more progress has 
been made in the direction of mutual intercourse and under 
standing between the various Slavs in the ten years immediately 
preceding the War than in any previous decade. The events 
of the Balkan War gave a tremendous impetus to the feeling of 
Slav solidarity. Agram, Laibach, Prague, even to some degree 
Cracow, greeted the victory of the Balkan League as their own ; of 
Moscow and Petrograd it is unnecessary to speak. Students 
of nationality in Europe are too apt to confine their attention 
to Italy and Germany. Even to-day it is not yet fully under 
stood to what an extent the national movement has revivified 
and transformed the Slavs. And yet it is only necessary to com 
pare the Slav nations of Austria and the Balkans as they are 
to-day with what they were a hundred years ago, in order to 


realise that nationality among the Slavs is like an inrolling tide, 
If their emancipation is one of the results of this gigantic clash 
of arms, the misery and suffering of Europe will at least have 
a compensation. Once more Russia, despite the many short 
comings and imperfections of which her enemies are never tired 
of reminding us, is siding with the future, as surely as Germany, 
with her all marvellous energy and organisation, is siding with 
the past. 

The Pan-Slav ideal has been mellowed by time. To-day it is 
realised more and more that it can never be achieved upon a purely 
Russian or on a purely Orthodox basis, and that, even from the 
Russian point of view, such a consummation would be undesir 
able. Five out of the seven Slavonic races whose fate depends 
upon the issue of this War the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, 
and Slovenes are overwhelmingly Catholic (the second and third 
with a small Protestant minority), while the western portion 
of the Ukraine is fervently Uniate. The indispensable pre 
liminary to any solution of the problems affecting these races is 
the establishment, not merely of toleration, but of absolute 
religious equality. 

The rival tendencies inside the Pan-Slav idea may be summed 
up in three phrases by three great Russians. The Slavophils," 
wrote the ultra-conservative Ivan Aksakov, regard Orthodoxy 
as the source of Russian nationality : it constitutes the funda 
mental principles of its historic life, which are a higher contri 
bution to civilisation than those possessed by Western Europe." 
Alexander Herzen, probably the greatest of the advanced school 
of Russian thought, declared with equal emphasis that when 
the hour of the Slavs shall sound, their idea will correspond to 
that of revolutionary Europe." But as usual, Dostoevsky raises 
the matter to a higher plane when he writes of " the plan to unite 
the whole of Slavdom under the wings of Russia. And this 
union, not for the appropriation of others property, not for 
violence or for the annihilation of the various Slav individualities 
by the Russian Colossus, but in order to renew them and bring 
them into their due relation to Europe and to humanity to 
give them at last the possibility of peaceful life and of recovery 
after countless centuries of suffering, and when they feel their 


new strength, of adding their bundle to the granary of the human 
spirit and saying their word in civilisation. Of course you may 
laugh as much as you please at these illusions of mine about 
Russia s destiny, but tell me this : Do not all Russians desire the 
liberation and exaltation of the Slav on this very basis, for their 
full personal freedom and for the resurrection of their souls, and 
not to win them politically for Russia and through them to 
strengthen Russia politically, as Europe sometimes suspects ? 

A word or two may be added as to the manner in which the 
Pan-Slav dreamers expressed their theories in practice. Dos- 
toevsky, in the very passage quoted above, breathing as it does 
conciliation and tolerance, adds the phrase, " It goes without 
saying, that with this end in view Constantinople must sooner 
or later be ours." Constantinople lies at the root of all Russian 
realities, national, political, religious, and economic ; and it is 
a fortunate fact that our statesmen should realise that Constanti 
nople in the hands of Russia is the surest guarantee of peace 
between the British and Slavonic worlds and an impregnable 
barrier to German aggression in the Near and Middle East. 

Danilevsky, a typical contemporary of our own jingos and a 
believer in sacred egoism as the sole basis of foreign policy, 
advocated a kind of loose Confederation of Eastern Europe, con 
sisting of the following eight units: (i) The Russian Empire 
including Galicia, (2) Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovacia, (3) 
Jugoslavia, (4) Bulgaria, (5) Roumania, (6) Greece, (7) Hungary, 
(8) Constantinople, as a separate province. The fatal and obvious 
flaw in this settlement is that it ignores Poland and the root fact 
that the Pan-Slav ideal can never be achieved so long as Russian 
and Pole remain unreconciled. 

More than enough has been heard of the notorious Pan-German 
General Bernhardi. Far too little has been heard of the Pan-Slav 
General Fadejev, whose words, written in 1869, are full of 
prophetic insight. He starts with the assumption that for Russia 
the Eastern Question cannot be decided by a war in the Balkans 
but only on Russia s western frontier. " The Eastern Question 
can only be solved in Vienna." " Austria is like a loaded cannon 
which may not go off for centuries if the sparks are not applied. 
But for her to allow a solution in the Russian sense would be 


suicide." The existence of free Slav kingdoms bounding 
with enslaved Slav countries is impossible. How can Austria 
allow a second Slav Piedmont, whose influence would not be 
confined to a corner of her Empire, but would extend to its centre ? 
Austria has only two paths. Either the Slavs south of the river 
Save (i.e. Serbia), must share the fate of the Hungarian Slavs, or 
the Slavs north of the Save must attain the position of Serbia to 
day." Here, then, we find in 1869 a Russian summing up in a 
few clear phrases the situation of 1916. Either free Serbia and 
Montenegro must become conquered provinces of Austria- 
Hungary and fodder for the Drang nach Osten, or they must unite 
the whole Jugoslav race in a single state. 

The second prophecy is not less remarkable. " In relation 
to Russia Hungary forms the advance guard of Germany. . . . The 
Germans see that they alone without the help of the Magyars 
can never finish with the Danubian Slavs. ... If Austria-Hungary 
follows firmly on these lines, Germany will stand up for Austria 
just as much as for her own property." This is being literally 
fulfilled to-day in the course of what is at least as much a Magyar 
war as a German war. It was the racial tyranny of the Magyars, 
exercised upon the unhappy Slavs of Hungary and the Eastern 
Adriatic, which kept the northern Balkans in a ferment, check 
mated the better elements in Austria, and embittered the relations 
of the Dual Monarchy with Russia and Serbia. Just as it was 
Budapest in collusion with Vienna which plunged Serbia and 
Bulgaria into the fratricidal war of 1913, so it was the deliberate 
policy of Budapest in collusion with Berlin which precipitated 
the present conflict. 

Yet another prophecy of Fadejev is to-day in process of 
fulfilment. For Austria the Polish Question is a lightning 
conductor for the Eastern Question." Its true solution is to 
recognise the Poles as a Slav people with a right to its existence 
and to Russian help in reuniting its scattered portions. Poland 
has, on the other hand, in effect the choice of becoming the 
younger brother of the Russian nation, or a mere German 
province. Scarcely less interesting is his further assertion that 
France has a choice between Russian rule and German rule in 
Europe. " On the day when France realises that the fortunes of 


Poland are inseparably bound up with the triumph of the Slav 
idea, the heart of France will be with us." 

There is only one point upon which his uncanny gift of 
prophecy failed him, and the fault lies at the door of perfide 
Albion. Writing in 1869, he did not expect the sympathy of 
England for his Slavonic dreams, and who shall blame him ? 
That was long before Gladstone and Salisbury between them 
redeemed the deadly errors of Disraeli. It is the privilege of our 
generation to prove him wrong on this one point, and as loyal 
and immovable allies of Russia, to help him to realise the re 
storation of the Slav programme. One of our own statesmen, 
in an inspired phrase, contrasted the attitude of Prussia and of 
Russia to the claims of nationality and sentiment. While " the 
higher civilisation merely answered that the liberty of the 
Bulgarian peasants was not worth the life of a single Pomeranian 
soldier . . . the rude barbarians of the North sent their sons by 
the thousand to die for Bulgarian freedom." Prussia since she 
was constituted a kingdom has done nothing for the freedom of 
her neighbours and much for their enslavement. Russia, like all 
great Empires, our own included, has blots upon her scutcheon, 
but nothing can ever efface the historical fact that time after time 
she has gone to war for the cause of her Slav kinsmen or her 
Orthodox co-religionists, and that the democratic countries of 
South-Eastern Europe owe a great part of their liberties to the 
efforts of Russia and her rulers. 

History has linked Russia and Britain in the task of recon 
structing Europe upon the sole basis which offers any hope 
of lasting peace, the principle of nationality and the rights of 
small nations. The three main pillars of this reconstruction are 
Jugoslavia, Bohemia, and Poland. The small and landlocked 
Serbia of the past will be transformed into a strong and united 
Southern Slav State on the shore of the Adriatic, no longer seething 
with unrest as the result of Magyar misrule in Croatia and Austrian 
economic tariffs, but free at last to develop a national life which 
has resisted five centuries of Turkish oppression. Bohemia, 
who, as the vanguard of the struggle against Germanisation for 
eight centuries, has proved her powers of resistance and organisa 
tion, will become an independent State, possessed of natural 


frontiers, strong and self-supporting industries, and keen national 
consciousness, and an invaluable link between its Russian 
brethren and the West. Poland, freed from its long bondage 
and reunited as a national unit of over twenty million inhabitants 
on terms of closest union with Russia, will be able to develop still 
further her great natural riches and to reconstruct her social 
system on Western lines. Russia, whose sentimental and religious 
claims to Constantinople have been reinforced tenfold in the 
present war by economic necessity, has a common interest with 
Britain in establishing an effective obstacle to the German Drang 
nach Osten, and restricting Germany to those natural limits 
within which she would cease to be a danger to the peace of 
Europe. The allies are faced by the alternative of breaking up 
Austria-Hungary (in which case Germany obtains an addition 
of eight or nine million inhabitants, but on the other hand loses 
her subject nationalities and is surrounded by virile and national 
States) or by permitting its survival and thus securing to Germany 
the final assertion of political, military, and economic control 
over its 51,000,000 inhabitants, and thus indirectly the mastery 
of Central Europe and the control of the Adriatic, the Balkans, 
and Constantinople. To-day we greet Russia as the acknow 
ledged head of the Slavonic world, at last emancipated from that 
Prussian influence which has been the chief clog upon its progress. 
It is not too much to assert that all thinking men in this country 
to whom the gravity of the issues are apparent are firmly resolved 
to convert our present brotherhood in arms into a firm and endur 
ing friendship between Britain and Russia, nay more, between 
Britain and the whole Slavonic world. We, too, must contribute 
towards that victory of the Slavonic cause, without which there 
can be no regeneration of Europe. 







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H HTO me I MCJKB aapefi nasypn, 
HauiJiHCB nocoSnuKaMn ^ypi 
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T-fe, HTO Hecyx-B MjianemjaMi, 

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Pafixy, nepeue nojieTM Koxoparo naSjiioaajit nom 





TaMi>, rn-fe CMepib BecejiHTcn IIOJKHBOH 
ci> KOCOH BT> pynax-b; 

paacB-BT-b, npocxynan, cKOJibauTT, Mem-b pa3Bajunn>, 

3X0 BTOpHTT> paCKaTaMT> MOpTHpT. 663^ HHCJia ; 

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, SappHKanbi, oKonbi, 

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CxaJibHoii H CBHHLtoBbiH rpani> ! 

J^OJIK) paTHHKOB b HaillHM b yiOTOMT. 

Hauieii H-BFOH aoMaiimeii, npn CB-BT-B, BT> Teiurs . . . 
IloMHHaftTe BT> canonax-b, BT> xeaxp-B, BT> 
KTO HbiH-B BT> CH-ferax-b H MFJI-B ! 

IToMHHaiiTe yiuejuuHX b MOJIHTBOH 


rnt CMepTb BCCCJIHTCH nojKHBOH oSujibHofi, 

Bajiepiii Bpiocos-b. 

Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh.